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Citizen scientists spot meteorite strike during lunar eclipse

24 Jan 2019, 12:03 UTC
Citizen scientists spot meteorite strike during lunar eclipse
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Photographer Petr Horálek captured the meteorite impact during the lunar eclipse
The total lunar eclipse that took place last Sunday night/Monday morning has become a dramatic demonstration of the power of citizen science. As millions of people across Europe, western Africa, and North and South America watched the start of totality, a meteorite hit the moon, producing a tiny flash of light on the darkened lunar surface.
It is the first known meteorite strike to have taken place during a lunar eclipse.

The story begins in the United States with the extremely sharp-eyed Reddit user Ahecht. “I saw a bright flash on the moon opposite the remaining sunlit sliver,” he wrote. “I ran inside and checked the timeanddate webcast from Morocco and it was visible there too, so it wasn’t an airplane or something else local. It was also visible on the Griffith Observatory webcast. Could this have been a meteor impact on the moon?”
The news quickly spread. “Wow,” tweeted the UK-based astronomer and science writer Will Gater. “I’ve just checked in Photoshop & the flashes from the 2 different feeds are in *exactly* the same location. Given there was *also* a visual observation I’d bet good money this ...

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