During the Eclipse the moon was a meteorite

Photo: ‘Super blood wolf moon’ inks Durango skies

As it turns out, the eclipse was even more special than most observers had noticed, as the Moon was actually struck by a meteorite while everyone was gazing in wonder at its rusty appearance. But if this event is confirmed, it may be the first time such an impact has been recorded during a lunar eclipse.

Madiedo and his partners have been checking lunar eclipses for years with the MIDAS (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System) network of telescopes, explicitly searching for impacts.

The eclipse was dubbed the "super blood wolf moon" by scientists because the moon appeared bigger due to its closeness to Earth and its striking, unusual color.

During Sunday's super blood moon, a meteor crashed into the lunar surface-and astronomers recorded the whole thing. The flash is visible in at least three different videos.

The Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS, telescopes that Madiedo used have high-sensitivity video cameras, which are flawless at capturing these split-second events. No formal calculations on the size of the meteorite that hit the moon have been made, but Madiedo thinks the object was about two kilograms and roughly the size of a football. "I was really, really happy". Videos of the lunar eclipse revealed that a meteor collided with the moon just when totality began, marking the end of a meteorite's journey.

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According to NASA, the next total lunar eclipse won't happen until 2021.

Multiple telescope feeds captured the impact, which likely left behind a fresh crater on the pockmarked moon. "We also monitor during lunar eclipses, since during these eclipses the lunar ground is dark".

"I did not want to miss any potential impact event", he said in an email.

"I was exhausted when the eclipse ended-but when the automatic detection software notified me of a bright flash, I jumped out of my chair".

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