Bright flashes illuminate the dark side of the moon when two meteoroids hit the surface

<pre><pre>Bright flashes illuminate the dark side of the moon when two meteoroids hit the surface

Astronomers have captured the moments when two bright flashes illuminated the dark side of the moon, when walnut-sized meteoroids hit the surface earlier this month.

While impacts on the Moon are not that uncommon, these events are fleeting, which makes them difficult to detect.

Researchers of the Lunar Impact Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS) managed to capture the phenomena in action by coordinating telescopes at three observatories in Spain.

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Astronomers have captured the moments when two bright flashes illuminated the dark side of the moon, when walnut-sized meteoroids hit the surface earlier this month. The collisions happened within 24 hours one from the other

The first of the two meteoroids crashed into the moon on July 17, according to the European Space Agency.

And 24 hours later, the second space rock had its impact.

While the collisions created a bright flash, experts say that these objects were relatively small, and that each one is probably only the size of a walnut.

The fragments were probably a byproduct of the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower, according to the ESA.

This meteor shower occurs when the Earth and the moon pass through the tail of comet 169P / NEAT.

MIDAS monitors the impacts on the lunar surface using a series of telescopes in Spain. Each of these are equipped with high sensitivity CCD video cameras, explains ESA.

The first of the two meteoroids crashed into the moon on July 17, according to the European Space Agency. And 24 hours later, the second space rock had its impact. Experts say that these objects are relatively small, and that they only reach the size of a walnut

The first of the two meteoroids crashed into the moon on July 17, according to the European Space Agency. And 24 hours later, the second space rock had its impact. Experts say that these objects are relatively small, and that they only reach the size of a walnut

The first of the two meteoroids crashed into the moon on July 17, according to the European Space Agency. And 24 hours later, the second space rock had its impact. Experts say that these objects are relatively small, and that they only reach the size of a walnut

The images captured by the observatories give us unprecedented access to these ephemeral phenomena.

"By studying meteorites on the moon we can determine how many rocks impact and how often, and from this we can infer the possibility of impacts on the Earth," says José María Madiedo, of the Lunar Impact Analysis and Detection System (MIDAS).

Lunar eclipses, like last week's event, also make it easier to detect potential impacts, said Madiedo, while darkening the surface even more.

"At Midas, we see impacts on the" dark side "of the moon, which means that the flashes of impact stand out against the dark lunar soil," says Madiedo.

The dark side of the moon is any region not illuminated by the sun at any given time

The dark side of the moon is any region not illuminated by the sun at any given time

The dark side of the moon is any region not illuminated by the sun at any given time

HOW DOES NASA PROGRESS ITS EFFORTS TO STOP THE DEADLY ASTEROIDS THAT HIT THE EARTH?

The US government UU It is intensifying efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could wipe out entire regions or even continents.

The National Council of Science and Technology published a 20-page report on June 21 calling for better detection, tracking and diversion of asteroids.

The initiative supported by NASA, federal emergency officials and the White House aims to coordinate efforts over the next 10 years to detect and respond to potential threats in the vicinity of the Earth, should they arise.

Near-Earth objects (NEO) include all the asteroids and comets that orbit within 30 million miles of Earth, NASA said.

The US government UU It is intensifying its efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could devastate entire regions or even continents (stock image)

The US government UU It is intensifying its efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could devastate entire regions or even continents (stock image)

The US government UU It is intensifying its efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could devastate entire regions or even continents (stock image)

While the likelihood of an asteroid impact may be low, the effects could be catastrophic.

For now, scientists do not know asteroids or comets that are heading towards us. But one could sneak up on us, and that's why the government wants a better plan.

NASA's planetary defense officer, Lindley Johnson, says scientists have found 95 percent of all near-Earth objects that measure one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) or more.

But hunting still stands for the remaining five percent and smaller rocks that could still inflict great damage.

The new document, entitled "The strategy and national action plan for the preparation of objects close to the earth", established five strategic objectives to reduce the risk of an asteroid attack.

These include better methods to detect and track objects, better modeling, the development of technologies to divert NEOs, greater international cooperation in the matter and the establishment of emergency procedures.

The dark side of the moon is any region not illuminated by the sun at any given time.

Last year, ESA launched a 22-month project to study lunar impact flashes like these, in an effort to better understand the activity of near-Earth objects.

This system aims to allow researchers to measure the temperature of the impact lightning bolts on the dark side of the moon for the first time, in an effort to better predict potential threats to the Earth.

The NELIOTA project uses the reconditioned 1.2-meter Kryoneri telescope, operated by the Athens National Observatory.

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