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UPDATE: The lunar eclipse impact was from a beachball-sized rock moving at 61,000 kph!

1 May 2019, 13:00 UTC
UPDATE: The lunar eclipse impact was from a beachball-sized rock moving at 61,000 kph! Griffith Observatory

During the evening January 20/21, 2019, the Moon slipped into the Earth's shadow to create a lovely total lunar eclipse that lasted for several hours, and was witnessed by millions of people.

Fewer people, though, saw what happened at 4:41:38 UTC (11:41:38 p.m. Eastern US time) that evening: A small bit of interplanetary debris slammed into the Moon's surface, creating a decent-sized explosions and a split-second flash of light. Happily, enough people did see it to raise an alarm, and, even better, it was caught by multiple telescopes… including those of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), a project designed specifically to watch lunar impacts.

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