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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

An astronomer filmed an asteroid crashing into the Moon (video)

A spanish astronomer says he witnessed an asteroid the size of a refrigerator that breaks into the Moon, the biggest lunar impact caused by an asteroid ever recorded .

The event has been seen by Jose Maria Madiedo , a professor at the University of Huelva

On 11 September 2013 Madiedo operated two telescopes to observe the Moon, when he saw a flash in the Mare Nubium, an old basin full of dark lava .

Light was briefly almost as bright as the North Star , says Royal Astronomical Society ( RAS ) .

It would have been visible to the naked eye for anyone who happened to look at the Moon at the time, in good seeing sky.

There was a long response , with a duration of eight seconds - the longest and brightest ever seen on a lunar impact .

"At that moment, I realized that I saw a very rare and extraordinary event ," said Madiedo to the society.

Madiedo and his colleagues have calculated that the rock has a mass of about 400 kg, and a diameter of between 60 and 140 centimeters. It hit Mare Nubium to about 61.000 km per hour.

The speed was so great that the stone has melted on the impact and vaporized, leaving a thermal glow visible from Earth like lightning , and formed a crater of 40 meters in the lunar surface .


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