Meteorite on the Moon

27 March 2019

Meteorite on the Moon January 2019

Australian sky watchers didn't get to the see the latest total lunar eclipse, as it was all done from start to end while the Moon was around the wrong side of the Earth. Pity, it was called a "Super Blood Wolf Moon", which sounds cool. While I know what all the other words mean, the "wolf" escapes me. 

Something a marketing team dreamt up perhaps?

However, there was something a bit unusual about the event. Soon after it began, a meteor struck the Moon in its darkened side. This caused a good sized flash that lasted for several seconds (some report up to 8) after the impact. 


Things hitting the Moon isn't unusual, it's just that during an eclipse the flash the impacts make is that much more obvious. Further, when so many people were watching, it's only to be expected that it the event would be caught on film (or whatever you say these days).

What might be a little unusual is that the impact was on the Earth side of the Moon. The far side is more heavily cratered, suggesting that the Earth does protect the near side of the moon to an extent. Of course, this meteor may well have been going to miss the Moon entirely, but then got attracted by 

Earth's gravity so it did collide. Who knows?

This image was taken from Boa Vista, an island in an archipelago called Cape Verde in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa. I bet the light pollution there isn't all that bad!