The impact of a large meteorite on the lunar surface on Sept. 11, 2013, resulted in a bright flash, observed by scientists at the MIDAS observatory in Spain. Credit: J. Madiedo / MIDAS

The high-speed impact of a wayward space rock on the surface of the moon last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say.

Video footage of the record-breaking meteorite strike on the moon, which occurred on Sept. 11, 2013 and was unveiled Feb. 24, shows a long flash that was almost as bright as the North Star Polaris. That means the boulder-sized meteorite’s lunar crash could have been visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT, weather permitting.

An estimated 4 foot-wide, 880 lbs asteroid hit the moon on September 11th, 2013. It had explosive force of 15 tons of TNT. Spanish telescopes that are part of Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS) recorded the explosion. (looped) Credit: J. Madiedo / MIDAS / Universidad de Huelva

“At that moment I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event,” Jose Madiedo, a professor at the University of Huelva, said in a statement. Madiedo witnessed the collision using two moon-watching telescopes in the south of Spain that are part of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS observatory.


Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: Megan Gannon/

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