Flash of light observed as meteorite impacts Moon’s nightside

A rare event in space has been captured by Japanese astronomer Daichi Fujii, curator of the Hiratsuka City Museum. Fujii has recorded the moment a meteorite impacted the moon, causing a brief flash on our celestial neighbor’s nightside.

Fujii was able to capture this extraordinary event using cameras that were set to monitor the moon. The impact took place on February 23 at 11:14 UTC and occurred near Ideler L crater, which is slightly northwest of the Pitiscus crater, according to Fujii’s analysis.

The newly created crater is estimated to be around 12 meters (39 feet) in diameter and may eventually be imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or India’s Chandrayaan 2 lunar probe, said Fujii.

Meteorite impacts on the moon are a rare occurrence and require the right equipment and conditions to capture such an event. The flash from the impact is caused by the energy released during the collision of the meteorite with the lunar surface. This energy release is visible from Earth as a momentary flash of light.

Featured image credit: Daichi Fujii

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