Space boulder rocks Moon
Please realize that the earth being stable enough to have unbroken organic chemical and biological development (like 10 Billion years) is so improbable that it may have never happened to the point that intelligent life could have the technology to escape the collapse of their solar system!
Space boulder rocks Moon
Spanish astronomer catches rare meteor impact and explosion, visible to the naked eye from Earth
A space rock has slammed into the Moon, leaving a huge crater and causing a bright and long-lasting explosion that was visible from Earth, scientists said Monday. They said the event could shed light on the risk of similar objects hitting Earth.
Jose Maria Madiedo said Monday that he witnessed the refrigerator-sized meteor smashing into the Moon in what is believed to be the biggest such lunar impact ever recorded.
Britain's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) confirmed that Madiedo, a professor at the University of Huelva, observed the rare event on Sept. 11 last year.
"Observing impacts on the Moon gives astronomers an insight into the risk of similar (but larger) objects hitting the Earth. One of the conclusions of the Spanish team is that these metre sized objects may strike our planet about ten times as often as scientists previously thought," the society said in a statement announcing the finding.
The Society said the university is part of an international moon monitoring network called MIDAS, the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System.
On Sept. 11 last year Madiedo was operating two lunar-observing telescopes when he spotted a flash in the Mare Nubium, an ancient, dark, lava-filled basin on the Moon. Meteors, leftovers from the creation of the solar system, hit the Earth's satellite often ? but the resulting explosions usually last just a fraction of a second.
The rock hit Mare Nubium at about 40,000 miles per hour. The speed was so high that the rock melted and vaporized on impact, leaving a thermal glow visible from Earth as a flash and putting a 130-foot crater in the Moon's impact-scarred surface.
The impact energy was equivalent to an explosion of about 16 tons of TNT, more than triple the largest previously seen event, which was claimed by NASA in March 2013.
The RAS said the flare from the Sept. 11 impact was briefly almost as bright as Polaris, also called the North Star, as seen from Earth.
It would have been visible to the naked eye to anyone who happened to be looking at the moon at that moment in good viewing conditions, the RAS said.
A screen shot of the explosion in the lower left hand corner. Jose Madiedo/MIDAS
There followed a long afterglow, lasting another eight seconds ? the longest and brightest known to have been seen from a lunar impact.
"At that moment, I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event," Madiedo told the Society.
Madiedo and colleagues calculate that the rock had a mass of about 1,000 pounds and was roughly two to four feet across. He has posted two clips on YouTube showing the impact and describing how observing impacts on the moon can help scientists predict their effects on Earth.
Unlike the barren, atmosphere-free Moon, the Earth is protected by its atmosphere and asteroids of this size burn up as dramatic fireball meteors.
By way of comparison, the rock that exploded above Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, 2013, is believed to have measured about 65 feet across and weighed some 14,000 tons, on the lower end of medium-sized asteroids.
The blast high above the city injured more than a thousand people, mostly from flying glass and debris.
Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse