Amateur Astronomers Spot Meteorite Impact During Lunar Eclipse

Science

Skywatchers who observed the "Super Blood Wolf Moon", a total lunar eclipse that coincided with a supermoon, were able to witness an incredible addition to their spectacular view that night - a meteorite impact. The next total lunar eclipse won't happen until 2021, and here in North American, we'll have to wait until 2022 for another blood moon to be visible.

A composite photo shows all the phases of Super Blood Wolf Moon total lunar eclipse, January 20, 2019 in Panama City.

Totality is when the moon is fully immersed in the Earth's shadow.

A small and quick flash was first spotted during eclipse live streams at 11:41 PM ET, just as the eclipse started.

Software is then used to analyse the position and moment of the impact on the Moon with an accuracy of about 0.001 seconds.

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Madiedo observed the meteorite flash through Spain's Moons Impacts Detection and Analysis System, also known as MIDAS, which is run by the University of Huelva and the Institution of Astrophysics of Andalucia. The telescopes used by MIDAS have high-sensitivity video cameras that are used to continuously record events during observations.

MIDAS astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo shared the footage online writing: "The impact flash has been recorded by telescopes operating in the framework of MIDAS Survey from Europe".

A meteor struck the moon Monday for the first time ever during a lunar eclipse, according to a report.

"But I made the extra effort to prepare the new telescopes because I had the feeling that this time would be 'the time, ' and I did not want to miss an impact flash". "We also monitor during lunar eclipses, since during these eclipses the lunar ground is dark".

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