Lunar Impact Flashes - MyMoon

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LUNAR IMPACT FLASHES

Have you ever wondered if you could see the flash from a meteor impact on the Moon? How big would the impactor have to be? How fast would it have to be traveling? A MyMoon community member recently asked us this question. We asked Bill Cooke at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center this question. Bill is an expert on lunar impact flashes and here is what he had to say:

"A barely detectable impact flash (say, 0.1 seconds long), would be visible (from Earth) if a 5.5 inch meteoroid hit the Moon at 56,000 mph."

So there you have it. Want more info? Check out a webpage created by Bill and his colleagues about monitoring lunar impacts.

Do you have a question of your own for a lunar scientist? Submit your question at http://mymoonspace.com/p_askascientist.cfm.

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