An explosion on the surface of the moon was visible from Earth with the naked eye.
Bill Cooke, a NASA scientist said “It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.” According to NASA reports, the blast “glowed like a 4th magnitude star … the explosion packed as much punch as 5 tons of TNT.”
Cooke and his team are suggesting the moon blast was due to a violent meteor strike. NASA calculated that the meteor would need to be 0.4 metres across and weighing around 40 kg. They say it would have hit at around 56,000 mph.
It struck the moon on March 17th and NASA have only just realised while they trawled through digital imagery recorded by automatic monitoring cameras attached to telescopes which are permanently locked on the Moon’s surface.
Ron Suggs, an analyst at the Marshall Space Flight Center was the first to notice the impact.
NASA are now planning to fly their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter probe craft in orbit above the Moon to the impact site, to see just how big the crater is at the impact site.
You can read more about this, over here.
Kitguru says: One thing we don’t want to happen on Earth as the results can be catastrophic.