Space Rock Leaves Massive Crater on Moon During Full Lunar Eclipse

It was the first impact flash ever observed during a lunar eclipse

space rock, full lunar eclipse
FILE - This image from video provided by Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles shows an impact flash on the moon (Bottom-L) during the lunar eclipse which started on Jan. 20, 2019. VOA

A space rock left a massive crater on the moon during January’s total lunar eclipse. Spanish scientists reported Tuesday the meteoroid hit the moon at 38,000 mph (61,000 kph), carving out a crater nearly 50 feet (15 meters) across. It was the first impact flash ever observed during a lunar eclipse.

The scientists — who operate a lunar impact detection system using eight telescopes in Spain — believe the incoming object was a comet fragment up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) across and 100 pounds (45 kilograms). The impact energy was equivalent to 1 { tons of TNT.

full Lunar Eclipse, space rock
It was the first impact flash ever observed during a lunar eclipse. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Power Shortage in ISS Delays SpaceX Supply Run

Astrophysicist Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva says it was “really exciting” to observe the event, after many unsuccessful tries.

The findings appear in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notices. (VOA)