Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search
of Chemistry and Physics
View A&M University
519, MS 2230
View, Texas 77446
This program is designed to standardize and
coordinate amateur observations of meteoroid impacts on the Moon. This field
has exciting possibilities but only if the observations are done in a uniform
manner and pooled to look for confirmations of positive observations. Anyone
interested in participating should contact the Coordinator above for further
information. The Coordinator maintains an "Impact"
e-mailing list of regular participants, e-mail him if you would like
to be added to the list. Click here to read the full mission statement.
What's New (10/16/2018)?
MIRROR SITE: https://www.pvamu.edu/pvso/cosmic-corner/lunar-meteor-watch/
Briefings and Upcoming Opportunities
News and Developments (2011-2016)
Jovian Meteor and
Links to Lunar Impact
Lunar Meteor Impact Flash Candidates from
May and July 2018
narrowly missed having a global meteor storm! Would not have done any good for
the observations of lunar meteors (the moon was even closer to the dense ribbon
of comet debris, also…) since the Moon was New at the time. For more details,
go to: https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2018/10/14/earth-dodges-a-meteor-storm/.
Last July was
an active month for lunar meteor impact events. This post was made public then...
“Watch Two Meteorites Hit the Moon!”
The ROCG group in Brazil reports recording another lunar
meteor impact candidate, which was recorded to occur at 21:31:14 UTC on 14
August 2018. Unfortunately under the
present setup I still cannot get images to display on this page, please visit
site, to view the images. Confirming
observations are sought after, and if you’ve recorded an impact candidate
please report it as soon as possible.
In addition to this, I received a report a few weeks ago
from Tiago Augusto in Brazil on some likely lunar meteor impacts, two of which
happened about the same time. An impact flash was observed at 23:01:36 UT on
July 17. This event was recorded as part of a lunar program that has been in
operation for two years, made at one observatory operated by ROCG (Remote
Observatory of Campos dos Goytazes) and the Exoss Lunar Team. Other observers on this team include
Carlos Henrrique Barreto
(who recorded what may be the same flash on 7/17/2018 at 23:01:26UT; we are as
of yet unsure why this one has exactly 10 seconds difference in time from the
other), and Torres Moreira.
Jose Madiedo reports that their team recorded two
additional impact flashes on July 19 at 21:53:35UT and 22:29:07 UT, from Spain
with the MIDAS system. It is likely that these four meteoroids (July 17 and 19)
are associated with the alpha Capricornid meteoroid
stream (although a probability of such a correlation has not been determined
In addition to the July 17 and 19 impacts, the Brazil team
reports a flurry of impact flashes in May. They “witnessed lots of suspicious
flashes between 05/22/1018 & 05/23/2018.” We are awaiting verification of
an outburst of meteoroids on the moon during this time frame. The eta Aquariids
is past peak and only minor showers are active at this time. The web site of
the Exoss Lunar Program along with images and data on
impact flashes can be found here:
A news report about the July 17 impacts posted on the
networking website LinkedIN (and also posted on
space.com) stated that the meteor impacts that hit the moon on July 17 were
estimated to be about the size of walnuts and determined to be members of a
minor meteor stream alpha Capricornids. This minor
stream is derived from the comet 169P/NEAT. Confirming observations for the
above flashes are requested; also if anyone has observed a flash that needs
verification, please let us know.
We have at least a fair shot at capturing lunar Perseids this month. The moon is New just before the maximum
but the waning crescent Moon leading up to New, as well as, and especially the
waxing crescent Moon after the 13th are favorably placed for observation of
The section will continue the ongoing work of coordinating observations
for this and other meteor showers throughout the remainder of 2018 and beyond.
Check the ALPO website and/or join the Lunarimpacts listserve for more information.
Monthly Briefings and Opportunities to
Observe Lunar Meteors
For the ongoing monthly routine observations, the defined
start is set at three days after New Moon until two days after First Quarter
for the first half. The second half resumes two days before Last Quarter and
continues until three days before New Moon. The actual duration of each observing
interval will vary due to ecliptic angle, lunar elongation, and observer
latitude. I am posting these plans on a quarterly basis, which provides, at a
glance, the observing schedule along with any meteor showers active during the
observing windows. In general the observations fall into three groups: evening,
from three days after New Moon (NM) to two days after First Quarter (FQ);
morning, from two days prior to Last Quarter (LQ) to three days prior to New
Moon (NM); and significant shower, when the moon is favorably placed (usually
during these two intervals) during annual showers (whose names will appear in
bold type) with ground-based ZHR’s of 20 or more.
We are wrapping up the evening phase of the current
campaign as of this writing. When the moon reaches last quarter, the annual Perseid meteor shower will be starting to ramp up to its
August 12 maximum and will provide a source for lunar meteoroid impacts through
much of August.
Interval: 12 – 18 October (NM = 9
October; FQ = 16 October), evening; the Southern Taurids, the Orionids (ramping
up to an October 21 peak, ZHR = 15), delta-Aurigids
and epsilon-Geminids are weakly active during this time.
Interval: 29 October – 4 November (LQ = 31
October; NM = 7 November), morning; the northern Taurids are active, peaking on
the 12th of November.
Interval: 10 – 17 November (NM = 7
November; FQ = 15 November), evening; the northern Taurids are active, peaking
on the 12th of November with a ZHR of 5. The Leonids
are also active during this time, peaking on November 17 with a ZHR of 15.
Interval: 28 November – 4 December (LQ = 30
November; NM = 7 December), six minor showers are active during this time, each
with ZHR’s between 2 and 10.
Interval: 10 – 17 December (NM = 7
December; FQ = 15 December), evening; the Geminids are active at this time,
peaking on December 14, ZHR of 120.
Interval: 27 December – 3 January (LQ = 29
December; NM = 6 January), morning; the December Leo Minorids
are active as are the Quadrantids, the latter peaking around December 3 with a
ZHR of 120. However this is a very narrow peak, lasting only
Interval: 9 – 16 January (NM = 6
January; FW = 14 January), morning; the Antihelion
Source, the December Leo Minorids and the waning
Quadrantids are active at this time.
Looking ahead, the moon is just past First Quarter when the
Leonids peak on November 17; and the Moon
is a waxing crescent just short of First Quarter during the
December 14 peak of the Geminids. These are events to be ready for,
especially the Geminids. As always, check back often for any updates on
activity related to these two major showers as well as any other developments.
The full observing plan for lunar meteors for 2018 can be obtained here.
Two Lunar Quadrantid
Candidates Videotaped (January 2017)
During the annual Quadrantid
meteor shower the moon was favorably placed for observation of lunar meteors.
The Swiss-Italian team of astronomers caught two events, highlighted below. If
anyone in Europe happened to be videotaping at the time please check your
videos at the indicated times below for signs of impact flashes. I plan to post
the images at the mirror site above on 19 January.
2017 January 1 at 17:47:15 UT, lasted 2 integration fields
(40 ms), imaged with one telescope.
2017 January 3 at 19:18:41 UT, lasted 4 integration fields
(80 ms), imaged with two telescopes.
Runs were performed from Rome (Italy), Gordola
and Locarno (Switzerland).
Reports of Lunar Meteors - 2015
The Swiss-Italian lunar meteor monitoring group, consisting
of observers Rafaello Lena, Stefano Sposetti and Marco Iten, reports
the observations of several impact flashes, each of which was confirmed by Dr.
J.M. Madiedo’s team. These events are summarized in
the below table and were observed in Europe when the Moon was below the horizon
for North America. However anyone monitoring the moon from North America with
video and at least an 8-inch telescope had a good chance of observing impacts
from the Northern Taurid meteor stream. The North Taurids are noted as being
the very likely source of the impact that was the first of over 300 events to
be observed by the Meteoroid Environment team at NASA-Marshall Space Flight
Center ten years ago.
The four flash detected by Stefano have
following selenographic coordinates from Dr. Lena’s
preliminary computation using LTVT software package (Mosher and Bondo).
o 7 November 2015 03:31:26 UT
§ longitude 50.9° E +/-
0.4 ° latitude 24.0° N +/- 0.4 °=>
north edge of Mare Crisium about 104 km west of Eimmart crater
o 7 November 2015 04:14:07 UT
§ longitude 48.8° E +/- 0.4 °
latitude 0.70° S +/- 0.3 ° => Mare Fecunditatis
about 54 km north east of Messier crater
o 7 November 2015 05:06:45 UT
§ longitude 62.4° E +/-
0.4° latitude 4.90° S +/- 0.3 ° =>
Mare Fecunditatis about 130 km north of Langrenus crater
o 8 November 2015 05:14:09 UT
28.4° E +/- 0.4° latitude 7.3° S +/- 0.3
° .=> about 83 km south of Torricelli crater
One additional flash event observed 15 November
2015 18:13:57UT has also been confirmed by J.M. Madiedo
Many thanks to the Swiss-Italian team for their excellent
work and for reporting these results.
Other News and Developments
Videotaped in Jupiter’s Atmosphere
One of the ancillary activities of this section is to
observe meteors on other planets. Jupiter has historically provided the richest
field for such observations as seen from Earth’s surface. We encourage video
patrols of Jupiter on a regular basis to monitor the planet for meteors. It
would be useful scientifically to obtain a census of such objects and their
frequency of impact on Jupiter. The monitoring of meteors on Jupiter (and all
other solar system objects) will fall under the domain of the LMIS and I will
share more on this new venture by early 2018. One thing is certain…once we get
our observatory established at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, one of
the first projects I have in mind for the Meade 16-inch is regular monitoring
of Jupiter for meteor impacts and I will certainly need help from interested
and well-equipped observers from this Section.
On May 26th 2017 between 19:24.6 and 19:26.2 UT Sauveur Pedranghelu videotaped an
impact flash in Jupiter’s north polar region. The
flash lasted about 0.7 seconds and displayed two peaks in brightness. The
impact occurred at latitude 51 N and central meridian longitudes: System I = 74
deg.; System II = 159 deg.; and System III = 292 deg. More information about
this observation along with an image can be viewed at this website: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/new-impact-flash-seen-at-jupiter/
with Plume made by Marco Iten and reported by Stefano
Sposetti, Marco Iten and Rafaello Lena:
Marco Iten detected an interesting luminous
event most probably generated by a meteoroidal impact on the Moon occurred
the 26 February 2015. The
position of the flash was along the terminator. The brightness of the
flash 0.16 s after the initial detection was +8.0 magV.
After the main lightdrop a successive residual
diffuse light lasted for several seconds.
Under the assumption of a meteoroidal impact, we argue that this
post luminous event and its ever growing dimensions was likely caused by
sunlight reflection on ejected materials released by the impact. Marco Iten detected it visually using no dedicated searching
We placed our preliminary report here: http://digilander.libero.it/glrgroup/
or directly to the pdf file: http://www.lunar-captures.com//Selenology_Today/ST_preliminary%20report_2015.pdf
video was shown to impact expert H. Jay Melosh of
Purdue University (USA) and he agrees that this appears to be a genuine impact
event, with the ejection of dust that is made visible as it rises into
sunlight. He suggested making measurements to find the height of the dust
cloud. This animated gif image (aka, the “video”) is accessible from the mirror
site linked above.
Free e-Book Available for Download
general interest visual astronomy book (revised and corrected) entitled “The Art and Science of Visual
Astronomy”, is available for free
download. This is where I share my fascination with the aesthetic, visual side
of astronomy and include information on some of the best objects that amateur
astronomers look at on a regular basis. This is meant to instill interest in
visual astronomy as well as keep beginning astronomers hooked and interested in
observing. I cover a wide range, from the natural beauty of the Earth and
daytime sky, to the uniqueness of deep sky objects such as galaxies. A unique
feature of this free e-book are the tables of “equivalent distances” to objects
of various types (both within the local solar system and beyond), that is how
close one would be to a given object of interest to get a naked eye view that
matches what one sees through the eyepiece. Suggestions are always welcome for
improvement. The e-book can be downloaded from here. Please be aware that, because of all the pretty pictures,
it may take a few minutes to download completely. Once it is downloaded, you
can save a copy to your local machine.
Older Reports Related to Lunar
If you happened to have made observations of
the moon during the LADEE mission (November 2013 through April 2014) in search
of lunar meteors, but have not yet submitted your observations please do so as
soon as possible. Even if you have not looked over/analyzed your media for
events, send it to me and I can get it looked at. Although the LADEE mission is
now history (it crash-landed on the far side of the moon over a year ago, on
April 17, 2014), observations of lunar meteors are still needed. The complete
observing plan for lunar meteors in general for 2015 can be obtained here. The mirror site that complements
this site is online and will display images obtained by observers as soon as
they are received, to give near-real time updates of observers’ results. Also
included will be any information provided by the observer such as date, time,
location, etc. The mirror is part of the “Cosmic Corner” website at http://www.pvamu.edu/physics/cosmic-corner/.
Brian Day of NASA-Ames Research Center wrote:
“The Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and the LADEE mission online workshop was held on
Dec 5, 2013. Presenters included RickElphic (LADEE Project Scientist), Brian Cudnik (Coordinator of the ALPO Lunar
Meteoritic Impact Search, Author of “Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe
Them), Rob Suggs (NASA Meteoroid Environment Office),
George Varros (pioneering observer of lunar
meteoroid impacts and author of “Nudger” lunar
auto-guider software), and PeterGural (author of LunarScan impact detection software). Because of
our international audience, the workshop was recorded and archived for
convenient viewing. You can view the workshop at http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/p4zpsnm6weh/.”
I highly recommend visiting this site and
watching the entire conference. Even though the mission has ended, there are
plenty of resources to help one get oriented to the observations of lunar
meteors. More information about the LADEE mission itself can be obtained from http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/.
One of the main objectives for ground-based
observations was to correlate the occurrence of impact events with changes in
the dust concentration as measured by LADEE. This, combined with careful
measurements of the maximum intensity of the flash, its light curve, and
knowing the impact velocity of the meteoroid, should enable us to get an
estimate of the luminous efficiency (how much impact energy goes into making
the optical flash) of the impact as well as a rough estimate of the mass of the
Meteor Yet Observed
Dr. Madiedo of the
University of Huelva in Spain reported a bright meteor flash caused by a space
rock impacting the Moon’s surface at an estimated 37,900 mph (61,000 km/h),
blasting out a new crater roughly 131 feet (40 meters) wide. This impact was
observed by a pair of telescopes that are part of the MIDAS (Moon Impacts
Detection and Analysis System) observatory, at 8:07UT on September 11, 2013.
The event occurred in Mare Nubium. The meteoroid
weighed in at an estimated 880 lbs. (400 kg) and measured between 2.0 and 4.5
feet (0.6 and 1.4 meters) in diameter. More information about this event can be
IMPACT EVENT FROM FEBRUARY 2014
Bill Porter reported a
recording of a possible impact candidate from about 12:30 UTC on Feb 23.
Location was in the eastern half of Lacus Somniorum,
in the general area of Hall Y1 dome and Hall K crater. George Varros reports: “Using the Virtual
Moon Atlas, the coordinates are close to LONG 36.724 LAT 34.105 - in the
vicinity of the Hall crater.” (An image will be posted to the CosmicCorner mirror site sometime this week,
or before March 6th). The impact appeared quite faint according to
Mr. Porter, who observed this from California, USA. A comparison star was
videotaped a few minutes later ( HIP 82951A, mag
6.55). The “jury is out” on this one since it shows a gradual rise in
brightness, a peak, then a gradual fall, which is not consistent with a typical
IMPACT EVENT FROM DECEMBER 2013 and JANUARY 2014
Two candidates from Jan 5:
I don’t know what to make of them. They are both single video field events and
are dim but don’t look like cosmic rays because of their nice shape and
brightness centroids. They have a similar look, are dim and very short, just
like the one from Jan 4. (I’m rescanning
everything using Lunarscan 1.5 after experiencing
anomalies or unexpected results.)
Jan 5, 2014 00:12:26 Lat
15.321S Lon 25.489E inside crater Cyrillus F
Jan 5, 2014 00:31:35 Lat
15.5N Lon 20.6E
[Images courtesy of George
This is a
detection by Marco Iten and Stefano Sposetti of a probable impact event on the moon. These are
members of the Swiss-Italian team of lunar observers.
2014 Jan 7
coordinates: 15.5° West, 19.5° North (Mare Imbrium)
of artificial satellites along the line-of-view: none in a 3deg diameter
125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate
Sposetti’s instrument: 280mm reflector with WAT902H2 Ultimate
Images courtesy of (left) M. Iten
and (right) S. Sposetti.
Lunar meteor observer
George Varros reports the following impact candidate:
I found a single video
field event that may or may not be an impact. It occurred on Jan 4, 2014, at
23:49:37 UT, just south of Gambart B at Lat
0.979 Long -11.56 I uploaded and posted
an image and a map, in a new folder labeled “01/04/2014 candidate”.
Although it’s only one
video field, the event does not have the visual appearance of a cosmic ray in
that it has a brighter center and is in a matrix of 3×3 pixels – it looks
It was not detected by Lunarscan probably because the event is only seen in the
even video field – the odd field was blank along with the odd field of the next
frame. The picture is dark because I probably have my gain set too low.
received the following reports (December 7th and 8th)
from the Swiss-Italian Lunar Observation group. Within a day (or two or less)
of the date of this notice, images related to this report will be made
available on the mirror site. Stefano SposettiI reported the following:
Dec 7, Marco Iten, Raffello Lena, Andrea Manna
and I, made some video recordings of the crescent Moon. We got good, but also
poor sky conditions. 2 of us, Marco Iten
and I, detected independently and simultaneously a small flash on the Moon.
The image of Marco Iten shows a very nice bright
point of light, lasting about 4 fields (ie. 80 ms).
My image is a lot blurred because of wind and strong turbulence, the flash is
washed out but clearly visible at the same instant and in the same lunar region.
The airmass at the moment of the detection was 3.9.
No artificial satellites were along the line-of sight inside a 3deg diameter
centered on the Moon coordinates. We performed no photometry of the flash. To note that Marco Iten noticed the flash
visually in real time, while looking at the laptop screen.
2013 Dec 7
coordinates: 11° West, 14° South (Mare Nubium)
125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate
Sposetti's instrument: 150mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate
Raffello Lena, Andrea Manna and I made some video
recordings of the crescent Moon in the first half of December 2013.
“December 8th, 2 of us,
Marco Iten and Stefano Sposetti,
detected independently and simultaneously a small flash on the Moon. The image
of Marco Iten shows a somewhat bright point of light,
lasting about 2 fields (ie. 40 ms). The flash of
light in the Sposetti's image is less evident.
at the moment of the detection was 2.19.
satellite INTELSAT 907 was at 66arcmin from the Moon centre at the moment of
the detection, ie. outside
the field of view. No other satellites were in a 3degree diameter circle
centered on the Moon coordinates.
“We performed no
photometry of the flash.
2013 Dec 8
coordinates: 18° West, 50° South (Longomontanus
instrument: 125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate
Sposetti's instrument: 150mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate”
addition to these reports, the NASA-MSFC Meteoroid Environment Office reported,
during the “Workshop Without Walls” web-based meeting
last week of a faint impact candidate on the western (Celestial west) limb of
the moon, imaged at 11:07:24.3
on 29 November 2013.
Someone else in e-mail communication mentioned this as being one of three
candidates observed that morning. I do not have an image to go with this report
but one can see it on the online workshop.
Impact Observed in Europe on 1 August 2013
I received the following
report from Raffaello Lena of GLR-Italy. He writes:
“On August 1, 2013 at 02:21:55.7 UT, a small meteoroid has likely impacted the Moon' s surface. The kinetic energy transformed by the
impact into thermal energy also caused a short a flash of light that was
detected by telescopes of R. Lena, A. Manna and S. Sposetti.
The simultaneity of the flash and the same position on the lunar surface
indicates it is an impact. The event described above has been observed by Raffaello Lena (GLR group, Rome Italy) with a refractor 130
mm and with a video camera Mintron. The flash was
also detected by Andrea Manna from Cugnasco (Switzerlnd) with a Schmidt Cassegrain 200 mm and a camera watec 120N+. Stefano Sposetti (Gnosca, Switzerland) detected the flash using two
telescopes: Refractor 150 mm and SC C11” equipped with watec
Two observatories in
Switzerland are at a distance of 10.0 km. The observatory in Italy (Rome) is at
a very long distance of 558 km from Gnosca
(Switzerland). Time synchronicity of the various files is assured by using a
GPS time inserters (KIWI-OSD) and an Atomic Clock Synchronization protocol. The
meteoroidal lunar impact detected on August, 1, 2013 at 02:21:55.7 UT was
simultaneously recorded by four independent video recordings. The duration of
the flash correspond to 0.08s and reached a peak brightness of 8.3 ± 0.7 mag.
The selenographic coordinates of the lunar impact
flash are determined to 73° ± 4° E and 27° ± 3° N, near the crater Seneca C.
The examined impact flash probably corresponds to a α-Capricornids shower exhibiting favourable
impact geometry on the impact date. Enclosed an image of the
detected lunar impact. A report of the observing session (written by Sposetti, Manna and I) is published in Selenology Today 33,
which can be accessed with the following link:
Impact Yet Observed on the Moon, March 17, 2013
has observed the largest impact yet detected on the moon. At 3:50:55UT on
March 17, 2013, a flash peaking near magnitude 4.0 was observed at lunar
latitude 20.6N, longitude 23.8W. The explosion produced was the equivalent of
that produced by 5 tons of TNT. The crater generated by this explosion is
estimated to be approximately 20 feet (6 meters) in diameter and was produced
by a beach-ball sized meteoroid (about 35-cm diameter) impacting at 57,000
mph (26 km/sec), that possibly is part of a little known meteor shower called
the eta Virginids. More information about this
extraordinary event can be obtained at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/16may_lunarimpact/.
A Likely Impact
from a Sporadic Meteoroid (2011)
The GLR (Geologic-Lunar Research) group in Italy reported a very likely
lunar meteoroid impact candidate on 11 February 2011 at 20:36:58.355UT. The obsevers were Stefano Sposetti
and March Iten. Stefano Sposetti
reports, “Marco Iten and me detected a probable
impact flash on the Moon, simultaneously, from our two observatories, located
16km apart. It lasted about 4 fields (i.e. 0.08s) in one video file; a bit less
in the other video file. No artificial satellites were in a 2-deg field of view
at the moment of the detection and the two flashes in the two video files are
located at the same lunar feature.” Since impact was observed with two
telescopes separated by 16km (below the arbitrary 30km threshold that we use to
determine uniqueness) and it has been verified that no artificial satellites
were in the vicinity of the moon at the time of the impact, this can be
considered a confirmed event. More information, including analysis, can be
found at this website http://digidownload.libero.it/glrgroup/st22web.htm.
Meteors and Resources for Observers
Jovian Meteor #3
September 10, 2012, a Jovian meteor was observed by a visual observer in
Minnesota and confirmed by video in Texas. It was a two-second long, sixth
magnitude meteor that happened in Jupiter’s atmosphere. It is likely that the
object mostly burnt up in the atmosphere, as observations of the site on
subsequent rotations have yielded no markings. This event serves as a reminder
that Jupiter provides a potential wealth of information in the area of meteoritics and the interactions between colliding
planetary bodies. The story can be read at http://www.spaceweather.com/ (Select September 12 2012 under “Archives” if you do not
see a link to the story anymore). A real-time video of the impact event can be
viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/19299984@N08/7976507568. And check out the article published just one day before
that declares “Fireballs Light Up Jupiter” at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/09sep_jovianfireballs/.
Jovian Meteor #1,
Jovian meteor was videotaped as it happened at 18:22UT on 20 August 2010. The
event was recorded independently by two observers in Japan: Masayuki Tachikawa
of Kumamoto city was first to report the event, and Tokyo amateur astronomer
Aoki Kazuo made the confirming recording some 800 km away. More information on
this event, including pictures and video, can be seen on the August 23, 2010
page of www.spaceweather.com. Sky & Telescope also has a story on this which can be
read at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/101264994.html.
makes the second confirmed meteor observation on Jupiter in 2-1/2 months, with
the first being on June 3rd. The June 3 and 4 (2010) page of www.spaceweather.com has more information, including an image and a video of this
extraterrestrial meteor, which occurred at 20:31 UT on June 3rd. You
can also go to the news section of Astronomy Magazine’s website (http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=ss&id=26, scroll to the archives near the bottom of the page, select June
2010 and look for the link…) to get the news story. Amateur astronomers
Christopher Go (the Philippines) and Anthony Wesley (Australia) simultaneously
observed this event, making it the first ground-based confirmed observation of
an actual impact event on another world beside the moon (to my knowledge). The
impactor must have been a rather large object to have produced such a bright
flash of light as seen from a half billion miles away.
meteor did not produce any dark markings, and it is unlikely that this one will
do so as well. Both appear to be atmospheric fireballs that disintegrated
before reaching the clouds.
reinforces my suggestion (which is now being considered by others) to begin a
serious project of continuously monitoring of Jupiter for impact events. This
would need to be done at high powers, enough for 1 arc-second (or better)
resolution. A setup similar to what is used in lunar meteor or asteroid
occultation work, but with larger telescopes (at least 10-inch) and less
sensitive cameras (since Jupiter is bright) would do the trick, and could
reveal the true rate of such impacts with implications for Earth and the impact
Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to
is now available for purchase at bookstores as well as online. One can go to
Springer’s website and find more information about the book, at http://www.springer.com/astronomy/book/978-1-4419-0323-5. One can also go to Amazon.com and get it for as little as $17.56
(used) off the publisher price; the website is (it looks truncated so if this
link does not work, simply go to www. amazon.com and type in the title of the
book in the search field, and it will come up)…
LunarScan 1.5 by Peter Gural
The latest version of the
automated detection software is ready for download. Go to http://www.lunarimpacts.com/lunarscan15.zip to download a copy.
This version is usable for formats up to 720x576 (PAL). The software is free
under the condition that you provide impact flash observations
(date/time/location) to NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the e-mail
address listed under "Contact Us" at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/index.html.
A “Quick Start” guide to LunarScan can be obtained by clicking here or here.
Definitions to Describe Quality of Lunar
In order to better qualify the probability of an observation being
genuinely impact in nature, we have adopted a definitive classification
scheme. The descriptors are given below
Those impacts observed by at least two independent observers separated by
at least 50 km (30 mi) within 2 degrees of latitude and longitude on the
moon and 2 seconds of time (99% confidence).
Confirmed Observation: Those impacts observed by at least two independent
observers separated by less than 50 km (30 mi) within 5 degrees of
longitude and 5 seconds of time (95% confidence).
- Probable: Those impacts
observed by a single observer having the characteristics of an impact
observation--appearing on two or more video frames, a measurable
point-spread-function (i.e. appearing similar to a star), and/or
confidence at least 80%.
- Candidate: Any impact
observation submitted by a single observer with a confidence of at least
With these criteria in place, we
can better group observations in terms of quality and estimate the likelihood
of the observation being that of an actual impact event. It is very
possible that a candidate could be elevated to the status of
"confirmed" with the corroborative observation of a second
independent observer, as stated in the qualifications above.
Lunar Impact Information - Links
About the Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search Program, Observing
Resources, Information, and Guidelines
Mission Statement, General Purpose, and Goals (soon to be
Make Lunar Meteor Observations and Related Resources
A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors I: General (soon
to be posted)
A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors II: Video (soon to be posted)
Varros Lunar Meteor Home Page
NASA Lunar Meteor Impacts Monitoring
Spellman Lunar Meteor Home Page
Worthy of Resurrection: Two past ALPO Lunar Projects
History of Lunar Impacts
Robert McNaught's predictions of
the Moon's Encounters with Dust Trails (1997-2006)
Lunar Leonids 2000
Click here to learn how people were watching for meteor
hits during the 2000 Leonid event
Lunar Leonids 1999
flashers...on the Moon (before the Storm)
Observing Leonids on the Moon (before the Storm)
A Leonid on the Moon? (First News of Possible Impact Sightings)
Nov.18th Lunar-Leonid Impacts