Watch the moment a meteorite slammed into the MOON: Incredible images show a huge flash as a crater formed
- A Japanese astronomer captured a likely ‘moon impact flash’ in a telephoto image
- Daichi Fuji made the shot just after 8 p.m. from his home in Hiratsuka city
- He claims the object slammed into the surface near the moon’s Ideler L crater
Incredible images show the moment a meteorite impacted the moon and carved a crater into the surface.
A huge flash of light was captured by a Japanese astronomer on Feb. 23 in what has been described as a likely “moon impact flash.”
Daichi Fuji, head of astronomy at the Hiratsuka City Museum, captured the split-second video just after 8:15 p.m. (23:15 GMT) from his home in Hiratsuka, Japan.
He tweeted, “I was able to catch the biggest moon impact flash in my sighting history!
“At the time of observation, there was no artificial satellite flying over the lunar surface, and given the way it shines, it’s very likely to be a lunar impact flash.”
Daichi Fuji took the photo around 8:15 pm (23:15 GMT) from his home in Hiratsuka, Japan
Fuji said the object appeared to have fallen near the Ideler L crater, slightly northwest of the moon’s Pitiscus crater.
Because the light captured with his telephoto camera was so bright, he claimed that the “crater generated is large” and that the “streaking is clearly visible.”
However, meteors and fireballs are not visible because the moon has no atmosphere, he added, but the moment it forms a crater it “glows.”
He continued, “At that time the moon’s elevation was only seven degrees, and I was happy to hold out until the last minute.”
MailOnline has reached out to the European Space Agency and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for further comment.
According to Bill Cooke, chief of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, about 100 ping pong ball-sized meteoroids hit the moon every day.
He told me last year Live Science: ‘That amounts to about 33,000 meteoroids per year.
“Despite their small size, each of these ping pong ball-sized rocks collides with the surface with the force of 7 pounds (3.2 kilograms) of dynamite.”
Mr. Fuji claims the object slammed into the moon’s surface near the Ideler L crater
Just over a week before Mr. Fuji created another meteoroid also a shooting star that could be seen all over southern England and Wales and in parts of France.
The rock, dubbed 2023 CX1, entered the atmosphere at 3 a.m. about two miles off the French coast and sparked a fireball as it broke up into small pieces that landed in the sea.
It was only the seventh time an asteroid strike has been successfully predicted, in what the European Space Agency said was “a sign of rapid progress in global asteroid detection capabilities.”
However, the largest known lunar impact is believed to have occurred around 4.3 billion years ago near the South Pole.
The massive impact would have sent a huge plume of heat through the moon’s interior.
Explained: the difference between an asteroid, meteorite and other space rocks
A asteroid is a large chunk of rock left over from collisions or the early solar system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.
a comet is a rock covered with ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much further out of the solar system.
a meteor is what astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns.
This debris itself is known as a meteoroid. Most are so small that they evaporate into the atmosphere.
If one of these meteoroids hits Earth, it will become one meteorite.
Meteors, meteoroids, and meteorites normally originate from asteroids and comets.
For example, if Earth passes through the tail of a comet, much of the debris in the atmosphere burns up and forms a meteor shower.