Was the moon hit by a meteoroid during the recent "Super Blood Wolf" eclipse?


the Lunar eclipse "super blood wolf" was a globally popular event for several reasons. First, it occurred during the perigee of the moon or the point closest to its earth orbit. This made it particularly bright and clear on the night in question (January 21, 2019). It also meant that the red color usually associated with complete lunar eclipses had a powerful effect on many people (and their recordings). Secondly, the event also took place during the first full moon of the year, which had special significance for cultures such as those of Native American tribes.

All these factors gave the last full eclipse of the decade its name with three hits.

The moon was also visible from most places on Earth, with the exception of the Antipodes and Micronesia.

However, this cosmic show became even more interesting after the event. It appeared that some of the cameras ready to record the eclipse in real time or in time-lapse also captured a mysterious flash at a specific location of the satellite, which was gradually becoming red before its temporary disappearance.

Eclipse the eclipse of the decade

This sudden spark of light was clearly visible on the videos that were later uploaded. They quickly led to enthusiastic rumors that the vloggers (video bloggers) in question had managed to witness a lunar impact along with the expected eclipse.

These impacts generally result from cosmic bodies such as asteroids hit the moon. However, these objects are more likely to be meteorites, which carry this term because they end up flying in space, very close to the Earth or in its orbit.

The meteoroid strikes on the Moon can be even more frequent than we know (and would explain the profusion of craters to which the satellite is widely associated). Most of them went unnoticed because of our historic lack of technology to detect them. It's only during the last decades that we have been able to send equipment such as lunar probes study and examine the moon in more detail.

However, the characteristic conditions of the moon "Super Blood Wolf" have made it possible to better visualize this apparent impact directly from the Earth. Moreover, without formal study and evaluation by astronomers, it can not be said with certainty that citizen scientists have discovered a "lunar eclipse meteoroid".

A YouTube video showing the flash of light at some point during the eclipse. (Source: MIDAS / YouTube)

Fortunately, the authenticity of this event during the eclipse has been confirmed. confirmed by scientists who followed the eclipse of their observatories around the world.

For example, astrophotographer Fritz Pichardo recorded his planned series of images on the lunar eclipse from its location in the Dominican Republic. However, it was only after online history was posted that he flipped through his photos and realized that some of them had also captured the impact.

Pichardo shared his work with other people working on observatories in South America and elsewhere in order to conclusively prove that the meteoroid was indeed at the origin of the flash (already highly publicized).

These scientists included the Colombian Mauricio Gaviria-Posada, working at the country's largest telescope (which is part of the La Loma observatory), and Jonathan Ospina at the astronomical installation of Medellín. Professor Jorge Zuluaga and his team at the University of Antioquia (Dominican Republic) also confirmed their findings.

Planetarium of Medellín, Colombia. (Source: SajoR / public domain)

Planetarium of Medellín, Colombia. (Source: SajoR / public domain)

The growing consortium of scientists has also counted images available to the public captured by timeanddate.comThe mobile observatory, installed in Ouarzazate in Morocco, to follow the moon of the "super-wolf".

Their results were also independently verified by José Madiedo, who was working on the Moon Impact Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS) at the University of Huelva in Spain at the time from the eclipse.

Measure the meteoroid "Super Blood Wolf"

The group used a technique called gravitational ray tracing, developed by Professor Zuluaga and Mario Sucerquia in Antioquia, to elucidate the likely velocity and angle at which the object struck our moon during the eclipse .

On this basis, the scientists concluded that this meteoroid could come from a group of similar organs called Atens. He may have hit the satellite at about 13.8 kilometers per second. Subsequent work on the images led the group to estimate its size and mass. They estimated that the object had landed on the moon with an energy of 0.3 to 0.5 tons of TNT exploding to the point of impact. This is most likely to result in an impactor weighing between 7 and 40 kilograms and measuring between 5 and 10 meters in diameter. The meteoroid could also have a depth of between 10 and 27 centimeters before colliding with the moon.

The lightning flash seen by many people around the world has also been quantified and found to be equivalent to 4 × 106 joules of energy.

These results were published in the journal, Icarus, and can also be found on the pre-print resource, arXiv.

This report can prove that the impact that so many people were excited to see and record a true lunar event was recorded. Although it appeared that the meteoroid in question was relatively small, it was launched strong enough to be noticed by millions of people around the world and to be taken into account in one of the most spectacular events since the moon marveled.

Top Image: There was more to see than what was announced at last month's "Super Blood Wolf" moon. (Source: PIRO4D / Pixabay)


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