A meteor hit the moon during the lunar eclipse in January
- Author: Joe Gonzales Jan 25, 2019,
Jan 25, 2019, 16:02
It was called a "super blood wolf moon" because the moon was at its closest point in its orbit to the Earth, making it appear larger than normal, or "super"; a "blood" moon because of the reddish hue from the eclipse; and a "wolf" moon, which is the name for January's full moon.
The impact occurred during the totality phase of the eclipse at 11:41 p.m. ET, Gizmodo reported. Because this event was seen by multiple observers separated by thousands of miles, the only conclusion is that something hit the moon, and its impact event was recorded on video.
Footage of the impact shows the meteor hitting the Moon during the total lunar eclipse-a relatively rare celestial event where Earth sits directly between the Sun and the Moon.
Madiedo observed the meteorite flash through Spain's Moons Impacts Detection and Analysis System, also known as MIDAS, which is run by the University of Huelva and the Institution of Astrophysics of Andalucia.
'I was really, really happy when this happened, ' he told New Scientist. Their software immediately logs the flashes and identifies their exact location on the lunar surface to an accuracy of about 0.001 seconds.
Such a scene has been long-sought by astronomers, but proved elusive until now, even with the frequency of lunar eclipses.
The Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS, telescopes that Madiedo used have high-sensitivity video cameras, which are ideal at capturing these split-second events.
A meteor has hit the moon!
Madiedo says it's the first impact flash ever seen during a lunar eclipse, although such crater-forming impacts are common. "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".