Meteorite strikes moon during full lunar eclipse


An aircraft passes the full moon as the lunar eclipse begins in Germany.

The event took place at 11:41 p.m. ET, with the impact happening "during the totality phase of the lunar eclipse", Madiedo wrote.

"A rock hits the moon during the total eclipse", Madiedo tweeted on the morning of January 22.

It happened this weekend during the super blood moon and experts think it's the first time it's ever happened during a lunar eclipse. This 24-second video of the impact was released by Jose Maria Madiedo at the University of Huelva in Spain.

Lunar impacts are common, but what makes this one so fun is the sheer number of telescopes turned toward the moon for eclipse observations. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon appears about ten thousand times dimmer than usual, so seeing the bright flash of the impact is much easier. Attached to his tweet was a YouTube link displaying the impact on the top-left half of the moon.

The impact was also confirmed by the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), which uses telescopes equipped with high-sensitivity video cameras to continuously record footage.

'The fact that it was visible from Morocco and California as well as my location in the northeast United States would seem to rule out something like a straight-on meteor in the Earth's atmosphere (although I did see a shooting star right near the moon a bit before I saw the flash)'.

A view of the blood moon next to the "Tiger and Turtle" landmark during the first total lunar eclipse of the year in Duisburg, Germany, Jan. 21, 2019.

Madiedo said lunar impact monitoring generally is conducted five days before and after a new moon, when flashes can be easily observed. "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".