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Lunar Meteor Exposes Itself

from National Geographic

A meteor hit the moon during the lunar eclipse. Here’s what we know.

In what may be a first-of-its-kind event, a flash of light seen during totality has astronomers on the hunt for a new crater on the moon.

BY

On Sunday, January 20, viewers across the Western Hemisphere were treated to the rusty hues of the decade’s last “blood moon” eclipse. But as people across the planet watched the moon glow crimson, some lucky observers caught an unexpected delight: the flash of a space rock striking the lunar orb.

“It’s a rare alignment of infrequent events,” says Justin Cowart, a Ph.D. candidate at Stony Brook University in New York. “A [meteoroid] about this size hits the moon about once a week or so,” he says. But if this event is confirmed, it may be the first time such an impact has been recorded during a lunar eclipse.

An eagle-eyed viewer on Reddit spotted the potential impact during the eclipse and reached out to the r/space community to see if others could weigh in. The news spread quickly on social media, as people from across the path of totality posted their images and video of this tiny flicker of light.

[ click to continue reading at NatGeo ]

Posted on January 23, 2019 by Editor

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