Did you see the moon explosion this weekend? A meteor hit the lunar surface last night and the incredible explosion could be seen with the naked eye from earth.
According to NASA, the spectacular sight only lasted for about a second.
Bill Cook of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said that a 40 kilogram meteor struck the surface of the moon at a speed of 56,000 mph and lit up the moon like a 4th magnitude star.
Cooke said: “On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium … It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before … Anyone looking at the moon at the moment of impact could have seen the explosion, no telescope required.”
CNN reports that NASA has been monitoring the moon for meteor explosions for the last 8 years. Cooke said that the meteor hit the moon with the force of 5 tons of TNT and created the brightest explosion seen to date.
Cooke said that astronomers will be monitoring the moon closely when it passes back through that region of space.
Cook said: “We’ll be keeping an eye out for signs of a repeat performance next year when the Earth-moon system passes through the same region of space.”
NASA notes that several meteors were flying in earth’s direction this weekend but due to our planet’s protective atmosphere the meteors burned up before they made impact. The moon doesn’t have that luxury and is frequently pelted with meteors.