Blood moon, lunar eclipse: Meteorites crash into the moon



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A meteorite fell to the surface of the moon when the world watched it this week, making it the first known meteorite sighting during a lunar eclipse.

Billions of people turn their heads up, or watch live broadcast sites to watch the super rare wolf blood moon on Sunday.

The blood moon, where the moon turns dark red, occurs during a total lunar eclipse, where the moon is completely immersed in the shadow of the Earth.

That is only seen in the northern hemisphere of North and South America, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russia.

But when astronauts observed the extraordinary site, some saw small flashes of light hit the left quadrant on the surface of the moon.

It happened during the dark part of the moon, so that the collision was seen through the telescope.

Astrophysicist Jose Maria Madiedo told New Scientist that a speck of yellow-white light was seen on the live broadcast at around 2:41 a.m. AEST (5.41 am Time of the Spanish Peninsula).

"I have feelings, this time will be when that will happen," said Dr. Madiedo.

The research team estimates that the meteorite weighs around 10kg.

Dr Madiedo, who works at Huelva University in Spain, told the Gizmodo technology website that he had spent years trying to catch meteorites that hit the surface of the moon.

In fact, scientists have been monitoring the time of meteorites regarding the moon since 1997.

"We monitor the nocturnal region of the moon to identify the effects of the explosion. In this way, this flash contrasts with a darker background, "Dr. Madiedo told Gizmodo.

"So, we usually monitor the moon about five days after the new month, and about five days before the new month.

"We also monitor during the lunar eclipse, because during this eclipse the land of the moon is dark."

This is a busy month in space, with NASA researchers identifying a trio of rogue asteroids that fly very close to Earth.

One of the asteroids is estimated to be the size of a blue whale, while the other is the length of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Scientists also made disturbing predictions this month about the trajectory of the Apophis asteroid, named after the god of chaos and darkness in Egypt.

The 370 m wide space rock is estimated to be very close to the Earth several times in the coming years, the most dangerous is expected to occur in 2068.

Labeled "doomsday space rock", Apophis was discovered in 2004 but researchers now believe that it is on the path of a collision with Earth.

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