A Meteor Struck the Moon During the Total Lunar Eclipse

Gwen Vasquez
January 26, 2019

On Monday morning, when people were witnessing the spectacular super wolf moon eclipse, a brilliant coincidence led to something even more stunning celestial event. Light with longer wavelengths on the red end of the spectrum passes through the atmosphere mostly undisrupted, reflecting off the lunar surface.

An awesome supercut video from The Virtual Telescope Project by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy showcases incredible views of the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse of January 20, 2019.

The Impact of a small meteorite on the moon is generally hard to spot from the Earth as the ephemeral flash of light is often outshined by the bright moon light. This was the only total lunar eclipse of 2019.

MIDAS astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo shared the footage online writing: "The impact flash has been recorded by telescopes operating in the framework of MIDAS Survey from Europe".

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"It was in the brightest part of the moon's image", Cook said of the second suspected strike, "and there might not be enough contrast for the flash to be visible in our video".

He doubled the amount of telescopes looking toward the moon, in hopes to see this kind of event unfold. Meteorite impacts aren't just flashy, there's also real scientific knowledge to be learned from them.

"I have not heard of anyone seeing an impact like this during a lunar eclipse before", said Sara Russell, a professor of planetary sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. "But I made the extra effort to prepare the new telescopes because I had the feeling that this time would be 'the time, ' and I did not want to miss an impact flash".

"We monitor the nocturnal region of the Moon to identify impact flashes", he told the website. "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".

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