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Space Rock Leaves Massive Crater on Moon During Full Lunar Eclipse

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

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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

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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)

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NASA Plans to Send Mobile Robot on Moon to get view of Water Ice

The planned launch comes as the United States is going to send the first woman and next man to the moon in 2024 and to achieve a long-term sustainable presence on the moon

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NASA
Mobile Robot will roam multiple miles and use its 1-meter drill to sample various soil environments affected by light and temperature, including those in complete darkness, occasional light and in direct sunlight, according to NASA. Pixabay

The US space agency NASA is planning to send a mobile robot to the South Pole of the moon in 2022 to get a close-up view on the water ice in the region and sample it for the first time.

NASA announced on Friday that the golf-cart-size robot called Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will collect about 100 days of data that will be used to inform the first global water resource maps of the moon, the Xinhua news agency reported.

It will roam multiple miles and use its 1-meter drill to sample various soil environments affected by light and temperature, including those in complete darkness, occasional light and in direct sunlight, according to NASA.

The planned launch comes as the United States is going to send the first woman and next man to the moon in 2024 and to achieve a long-term sustainable presence on the moon.

Water is a resource of direct value for humans that could provide oxygen to breathe and hydrogen and oxygen to fuel future landers and rockets.

NASA
NASA is planning to send a mobile robot to the South Pole of the moon in 2022 to get a close-up view on the water ice in the region and sample it for the first time. Pixabay

“Since the confirmation of lunar water-ice ten years ago, the question now is if the Moon could really contain the amount of resources we need to live off-world,” said Daniel Andrews, the project manager of the VIPER mission. “This rover will help us answer the many questions we have about where the water is, and how much there is for us to use.”

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Anthony Colaprete, VIPER’s project scientist said: “VIPER will tell us which locations have the highest concentrations and how deep below the surface to go to get access to water.” (IANS)