ALPO Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search

Brian Cudnik 

Department of Physics

Prairie View A&M University

P.O. Box 519, MS 2230

Prairie 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 (5/29/2023)?



Quarterly Briefings and Upcoming Opportunities

News and Developments, Archives (2011-2020)

Jovian Meteors and Observers’ Resources


Links to Lunar Impact Information


Lunar Impact Alert Notices!

Quarterly Briefings and Upcoming Opportunities

IMPORTANT NOTE: We no longer maintain an e-mail list at this time as the yahoogroups host has discontinued hosting groups. We now have a group, and we encourage all those who are interested to sign up.


We are encouraging those who monitor the Moon for meteoroid impacts to turn their attention, and their systems, toward Venus for three weeks during the summer. The techniques and technology are similar to observing lunar meteors, except instead of using a focal reducer to widen the field, use a 2x or 3x barlow lens (as seeing allows) to enlarge the image of Venus (which narrows the field) at moderate to high magnification.

I came across an article in the March 2023 issue of Sky and Telescope (pp. 52-53). The article is titled “Hunting for Venusian Fireballs” by Tom Dobbins. The Venusian fireball hunt will run from June 16 to July 7, when the planet is favorably placed and physically close to the Earth to maximize the chances of observing fireballs. Video is encouraged but visual observations can also be done.

While the prime time for observations can be the evening from sunset until Venus gets too low, one can also extend this into the daylight hours, especially if one has a near IR filter that would render the sky dark and allow the mainly IR light from any meteors shine through. This three-week period leads up to four weeks before the August 2 inferior conjunction. A similar interval of time may be followed from four to seven weeks after inferior conjunction, in the predawn sky.

Those who would like more information and/or would express interest in participating in this effort, please send the coordinator an e-mail at the address above.


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, briefly, 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 concluding the evening part of the current month’s campaign (First Quarter was May 27).

·      Interval: 22 – 29 May (NM = 19 May; FQ = 27 May), evening. The antihelion source is the only source active during this time.

·       Interval: 8 – 15 June (LQ = 10 Jun; NM = 18 Jun), morning. The antihelion source is the only source active during this time.

·       Interval: 21 – 28 June (NM = 18 Jun; FQ = 26 Jun), evening. Along with the antihelion source, the June Bootids are active during this interval. It peaks on June 27 with a variable ZHR.

·       Interval: 8 – 14 Jul (LQ = 10 Jul; NM = 17 Jul), morning. these. The Antihelion Source along with the July Pegasids (which peak on July 10, ZHR of 5) provide few meteoroids during this period.

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 2023 can be obtained here.


The Latest Lunar Meteor Candidate Observations


24 May 2023

An observer in Brusque, Brazil (Mr. Silvino de Souza) reported a lunar meteor candidate in the earthshine side of the waxing crescent Moon. This report was received from Anthony Cook who received it from Alexandre Amorim, NEOA-JBS

The observer was located at 27°05'55" S latitude, 48°55'15" W longitude.

These photos are available at:


All photos were taken using a 150mm f/8 refractor, eyepiece 23mm and a Motorola smartphone.

The photo was taken at 21:16:13 UT (18:16:13 Brazilian Time, GMT-3), according to the smartphone clock (which should be good to +/- 1 second).

The "flash" appears to be located near selenographic longitude 10° East, latitude 65° South. (Reference: Moon Virtual Atlas © Chevalley.

Mr. Amorim further reports: “In the original image, the flash is located in pixels 818 x 2099.

In another site, Florianopolis, our local group NEOA-JBS led a observation session between 22:00 and 22:40 UT using  a 80mm f/15 refractor. The Moon was one of observed objects, but nothing in the earthshine was detected, despite our session were one hour later than Silvino's photos.”

22 April 2023

The moon map with superimposed impact image (see the mirror site for this…) that was provided with the observation shows the location of a probable lunar meteor impact observed by Eneida Passos Pereira, an amateur astronomer from João Pessoa, Brazil. His colleague Marcelo Zurita, produced the above map showing the location of the lunar meteor. This phenomenon appeared in at least two video frames (also at the mirror site), so it seems to be legitimate event that occurred close to "Mare Vaporum" at 21:52:19 UT on 22 April. Clouds fuzzed out the image of the impact, which is determined to be at latitude +16.3 deg., longitude -5.3, or close to Marco Polo F crater. Tony Cook, of the British Astronomical Association, was clouded out at the time of this observation, so he could not provide a follow-up.

The telescope used was a Coletti, diam. = 115 mm, FL = 700 mm; so, this a 4.5-inch, f/6 scope, equipped with a Samsung SCB-2000 camera.

Confirming video is sought, but the observing window is so narrow, we would only be able to get a confirming video from someone else close to or within the same longitude band as these observers (that is, Brazil or Argentina). No telescope or instrument information was given.

To see the two images that go with this update, visit where this same report is given, but with the images included.



At 11:14 UTC on 23 February 2023, a Japanese astronomer recorded a meteoroid impact flash on the nightside of the waxing crescent Moon. This was Daichi Fujii, the curator of the Hiratsuka City Museum, who captured this event that happened near Ideler L crater, just slightly northwest of the Pitiscus crater, in the Moon’s southern hemisphere.

A video and images of this impact event can be viewed at


I received a report about a possible lunar meteoroid impact during the November 19, 2021, near-total lunar eclipse. Russ Stolling, of Fresno, California, reported seeing “a very short (quick!) white flash/spark at the upper right of the dark edge of the moon.” It only flashed once and was observed visually with a 40mm f/5 telescope and 15 mm eyepiece. The flash occurred between 8:52 and 8:53 UT on 19 November, near the NNE (Celestial) limb of the moon, likely between Harpalus Crater and the limb. Check your images/videos around this time to try to verify this impact event, which may have been a Geminid. Unfortunately there was a gap in my images between 8:47 UT and 9:02 UT so I did not record this.

Nearly 17 months after the event, I am still not aware of any other reports of lunar meteor impact flash candidates occurring during this eclipse.

Yet another Jupiter meteor was seen from Japan at 13:24 UT on 15 October 2021. This makes the 11th such event observed and confirmed (assuming confirmation takes place, but the video looks really convincing). Read more about it at this website

A Jupiter meteor was observed and confirmed in September, bringing the total of such events to six. Visit the Sky and Telescope magazine news website article about this event for more information. The meteor was observed by amateur astronomer José Luis Pereira of Brazil at around 22:39:30UT, 13 September 2021.

News and Developments Archive, 2011-2020

Impact Candidate Reports in 2020

I received a report from Shavarsh Khachatryan, from Nor Kharberd, Armenia (Latitude: 40° 5' 48.43"; Longitude: 44° 28' 33.08"). He reports the transit of a dark object across the Moon's disk, taking 3 seconds to cross (possibly a satellite or other object) at 18:55 UT on October 28, 2020. Then at 19:05 UT (this was the time recorded in the report), Shavarsh witnessed visually "a distinct but minuscule (very small) flash...around crater Carlini in Mare Imbrium. The phenomenon was exceptionally brief less than a second in any case. The color of the flash was yellow white more towards yellow." Shavarsh used an  Omegon ED triplet, focal length 952mm, aperture 127 mm (5 inch), at 106 x magnification. The eyepiece was a 9 mm with an FOV of 0.52 degrees. The Moon was a very fat Gibbous phase so I anticipate few would be observing for lunar meteor impacts. Nonetheless, if anyone in Europe or Africa was observing the Moon at this time, check your observations for any of the phenonema just discussed.

Impact Candidate Reports, 2019

I've received reports of three lunar Perseid candidates by Lawrence Garrett. Each of the three candidates were recorded on 5 August 2019. He observed these with a Celestron 8-inch, focal reduced to F/6.3, under clear skies with good seeing. His observing location was at  Latitude 44 39.6619 degrees N, Longitude 72 59.3715 degrees West, elevation 126.5 m. Images of these three impacts at their peak can be found on the mirror to this site.

Event: 5 August 2019, 00:56:04.4021 UT, in crater South W 46.6 N 55.5, appears on 3 frames.

Event: 5 August 2019, 01:18:11:1010 UT C_left , Near Mons La Hire W24 N26.0, possible double impact, visible in 5 frames.

Event: 5 August 2019, 01:18:11:0676 UT C_right, Near Archimedes W1.5 N30, possible double impact, visible in 4 frames.


I have earlier received two reports of possible impacts from two individual sites. The information about each is provided below. Interestingly, they took place almost exactly one month apart from each other. Confirming observations are sought.

Event: 8 June 2019, 22:00:37 by ROCG ELT group in Brazil (Carlos Henrrique Barreto & Tiago Augusto Torres Moreira). Event is seen in two frames near the WNW (Selenographic coordinates “eyeballed” to approximately 72.0W, 38.5N)

Event: 8 July 2019, 1:35 UT by Roger A. Jiménez A. in Venezuela. He wrote: “[4.0] Magnitude calibrated based on the brightness of a fourth magnitude star which was 2.5 degrees from the Moon, in the direction of its illuminated side. For this estimation, the same equipment (B10x50) was used, moments after the event.” The event, lasting less than 0.1 second, was observed in the region of Pickering Crater.

Super Wolf Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Meteor Impact (January 2019)

There was a meteoroid impact that occurred just as totality was getting underway during the recent total lunar eclipse of January 21, 2019. This occurred at 4:41:43 UT and was first seen on live streams from several locations such as Griffith Observatory. The website “HDR astrophotography by Nicolas Lefaudeux has a nice image of the impact along with a link of the best estimate of location of the resultant crater. Access this at

An eyewitness to the event as it happened, Kenneth Schroeder from Washington State, submitted this report:

"I observed this lunar meteoroid impact visually, in real time, using a pair of hand held Canon 10x42 image stabilized binoculars. I was observing from Auburn, WA, USA from a covered balcony. Partial light clouds were present during the early eclipse but skies had cleared by the time of impact at 8:41pm PST on 1/20/2019. The moon was at an approximate altitude of 38° with no obstructions.

"Visually, the flash was extremely brief, maybe 2/10 second and a pinpoint of white light. The flash was bright enough in binoculars to immediately catch my attention.  There was no hesitation or waffling as to what the flash was and I thought "meteor” instantly. The Canon binoculars have a field of 6.5° so the full lunar disc was visible. My view at impact was on the center of the moon so the flash appeared almost directly down (vertical) in my field of view very close the lunar edge which was in full shadow. The impact was not in my visual blind spot which might have prevented the sighting. I continued to look for more flashes with the binoculars for about one minute but none were evident.

"During the five minutes before impact I had a Swarovski 20x-60x ATS 65mm spotting scope coupled to my Samsung Galaxy S8 phone. The phone camera was taking time-lapse images every 5 seconds. About one minute after the impact I removed the camera to scan the location with the scope at the location of the impact flash…but saw nothing unusual.

"I then up-loaded the frames from the camera to my desktop computer but, unfortunately, the time-lapse frames did not show the impact flash.

"It was on Tuesday 1/22/2019 that I saw the first online recorded videos that showed the impact flash. Using those images of the lunar disc I confirmed that the flash location matched the location that I observed in real time.  What a surprise to see my visual sighting verified by a video! I have watched several of the recorded videos and still photos and believe that my visual sighting appeared to be even brighter relative to the shadowed disc than the images show. In fact, I have not ruled out the possibility that I might have seen the impact flash as a naked eye observation. I still plan to try to estimate the visual magnitude to see if a naked eye observation might have been possible."

Dr. Schroeder has over 50 years’ experience in amateur astronomy and has better than 20/10 visual acuity. He is 100% certain of what he observed.

It was interesting to compare his observation with my own Lunar Leonid observation in November 1999. My event was bright enough for me to be absolutely certain that something happened, but I was using a 14-inch (36-cm) Cassegrain telescope, while Dr. Schroeder was using a pair of binoculars. While I was watching this eclipse visually with an 8-inch Cassegrain, and imaging it with a camera zoomed in 20x, I was not able to see or capture this event. Both of us "will always remember [our events]"!

Constantino Sigismondi brings out an interesting coincidence: Dr. Sigismondi observed an impact with a small 7x21 telescope on the eclipsed moon of 21 January 2000. This is exactly 19 years, or one whole Metonic cycle, from the recent eclipse. Dr. Sigismondi, along with Giovanni Imponente wrote about this event in 2000 in two papers in the WGN, the Journal of the International Meteor Organization. Others have reported imaging and visually observing this impact event.

Coincidentally, another event took place in the same region of the moon during the January 21, 2000 total lunar eclipse. Dr. Sigismondi observed an impact with a small 7x21 telescope on the eclipsed moon and was also observed/videotaped and confirmed by Roger Venable (IOTA/US). The interesting aspects of both meteor impact events include the similarity in date of occurrence and location on the moon. Perhaps this is indicative of an unknown meteor shower? The next Metonic eclipse of this series, in 2038, is penumbral so observations of recurrences of this nature will be impossible that day. However on or around January 21 in future years, when the moon is favorably placed for such observations. We at ALPO-LMIS will keep a special lookout for such opportunities in the future and announce when they occur so as to motivate observers to participate in this new effort.

Finally, this year’s TLE impact event has renewed interest in observing total lunar eclipses for meteor impacts. People are encouraged to check images and videos of recent total lunar eclipses for the appearance of meteoroid impacts.. Cloudy night activities that would help in this effort is if people find and watch videos via YouTube of past streaming events of lunar eclipses to look for these events. If anyone finds such event, please report these to me, the Coordinator.

Here is a list of recent and future Total Lunar Eclipses ( Visit the NASA eclipse website for more information on duration of totality and location of visibility.

2011 June 15

2011 Dec. 10

2014 Apr. 15

2014 Oct. 8

2015 Apr. 4

2015 Sep. 28

2018 Jan. 31

2018 July 27

2019 Jan. 21

2019 Jul. 16

2021 May 26

2022 May 16

2022 Nov. 8

2025 Mar. 14

2025 Sep. 7

2026 Mar. 3


Lunar Meteor Impact Flash Candidates from Geminids, December 2018

I have received reports of three lunar Geminid candidates that occurred when the shower was active in December 2018. The observations were made from ROCG in Brazil by Tiago Augusto, Torres Moreira and Carlos Henrique Barreto. These were recorded to have occurred at:

23:40:22 on 12 December 2018

00:13:36 on 15 December 2018

00:22:27 on 15 December 2018

00:59:30 on 15 December 2018

01:05:06 on 15 December 2018

You can access a “slide show” showing each of these impacts in detail at this link. You may also visit the mirror site which has the images on display on site. We are looking for confirming observations for these events. The team did a preliminary analysis with LunarScan and by photometric analysis and was able to rule out spurious signals. These may or may not be cosmic ray events but these represent the best impact candidates the team was able to produce.

Lunar Meteor Impact Flash Candidates from May and July 2018

The Earth 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:

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. Please visit the mirror 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 yet)

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 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 lunar Perseids.  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.

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

§   longitude 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.

Impact Observation 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 the 
sunlight reflection on ejected materials released by the impact. Marco Iten detected it visually using no dedicated searching software.

We placed our preliminary report here:

or directly to the pdf file:

Marco Iten
Raffaello Lena
Stefano Sposetti

This 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.

Older Reports Related to Lunar Meteors

LADEE Mission Post-Wrap-Up

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

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”

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

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 meteoroid.



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.



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

001226_candidate 003135_candidate

[Images courtesy of George Varros]


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.


Date: 2014 Jan 7

UT Time: 18:19:31.0

Airmass: 1.39

Lunar coordinates: 15.5° West, 19.5° North (Mare Imbrium)

Duration: 20 ms

Brightness: -

Presence of artificial satellites along the line-of-view: none in a 3deg diameter

Iten’s instrument: 125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate

Sposetti’s instrument: 280mm reflector with WAT902H2 Ultimate

Images courtesy of (left) M. Iten and (right) S. Sposetti.

2014_01_07_181931_iten 2014_01_07_181931_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 somewhat stellar.

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.


I 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:


 Saturday, 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.


In summary:


Date: 2013 Dec 7

UT Time: 19:31:06.6

Airmass: 3.9

Lunar coordinates: 11° West, 14° South (Mare Nubium)

Duration: 80 ms

Luminosity: -


Iten's instrument: 125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate

Sposetti's instrument: 150mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate


Marco Iten, 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.

“The airmass at the moment of the detection was 2.19.

“The geostationary 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.

In summary:


Date: 2013 Dec 8

UT Time: 19:15:58.6

Airmass: 2.19

Lunar coordinates: 18° West, 50° South (Longomontanus crater border)

Duration: 40 ms

Luminosity: -


Iten's instrument: 125mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate

Sposetti's instrument: 150mm refractor with WAT902H2 Ultimate”


In 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.


Brightest Lunar Meteor Yet Observed, 2013

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 found at

Small Meteoroid 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 902H2 cameras.

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:

Largest Meteoroid Impact Yet Observed on the Moon, March 17, 2013 (before the September 11, 2013 event)

NOTE: A crater has been identified to be the result of this impact. More information on that can be read at the following website:!.html#extended

NASA 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

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




Jovian Meteors and Observing Resources

Fireballs 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:


Another Jovian meteor was videotaped from two widely separated sites on March 17, 2016. Read all about it here:

General Astronomy Free e-Book Available for Download

My 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.

Jovian Meteor #3

On 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 (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 And check out the article published just one day before that declares “Fireballs Light Up Jupiter” at

Jovian Meteor #1, and #2

Another 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 Sky & Telescope also has a story on this which can be read at

This 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 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 (, 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.

The first 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.

This 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 probability here.

Observer Resource: Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe Them

The book 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 One can also go to 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. and type in the title of the book in the search field, and it will come up)…

LunarScan 1.5 by Peter Gural Available!

The latest version of the automated detection software is ready for download. Go to 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

A “Quick Start” guide to LunarScan can be obtained by clicking here or here.

Definitions to Describe Quality of Lunar Meteor Observations

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

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.



More 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 posted)

Archived Lunar Meteor Alerts


How to Make Lunar Meteor Observations and Related Resources uirements4.pdf

A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors I:  General (soon to be posted)
A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors II: Video (soon to be posted)

 Resource links

The ALPO Meteor Section

George Varros Lunar Meteor Home Page

NASA Lunar Meteor Impacts Monitoring

Robert 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

Leonid 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


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