Watch Two Meteorites Smash Into the Moon

Watch Two Meteorites Smash Into the Moon
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Incredible footage of two meteorites making contact with the surface of the moon has just been released by the European Space Agency. In the video, you can see two separate flashes as the meteor hits our nearest celestial neighbour. 

Despite the apparently violent encounter, scientists say that the meteorites could have been only the size of a nut. The collisions took place in July, 24 hours apart, and were captured by a powerful Spanish-based telescope. 

The little meteors are causing a big impact.

Lightning was detectable from the ground in spite of its small size, thanks to the telescope's well-formed eye. Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) claim that the meteoroids were fragments of the alpha capricornid meteor shower in the middle of the summer.

Source: ESA

The moon was struck by the meteor past the tail of comet 169P/NEAT. 'For at least a thousand years now, people have been pretending to witness ephemeral phenomena happening on the moon's face. By definition, these blisters are difficult to investigate, and determining their cause remains a challenge." ESA officials said in the statement.

"Because of that.", Scientists study with a great deal of interest these «transient lunar phenomena», not only for what they can tell us about the moon and its history but also [for what they can tell us] about earth and its future," the officials added. 

Specialized telescope part of systematic analysis of celestial impacts


The action was captured by the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), which is located on three separate observatories across Spain. The system features high-resolution CCD video cameras designed to capture these subtle flashes. 

These rare flashes are even easier to spot if they happen during a lunar eclipse, such as last July 27. 

Investigate significant impacts within the solar system.

The first attempts to capture and systematically analyse impact flashes occurred when CCD cameras were first used in 1997. Researchers said that in addition to providing really important information about the moon and its relationship to other celestial objects, impacts like these also open up opportunities to investigate other meteorite impacts on other locations in the solar system. 

"By studying meteoroids on the moon, we can determine how many rocks impact it and how often, and from this we can infer the chance of impacts on Earth," Jose Maria Madiedo, a member of MIDAS and a meteorite researcher at the University of Huelva in Spain, explained.

Via: ESA