See a rock smack the moon during the super blood wolf eclipse

Photo: ‘Super blood wolf moon’ inks Durango skies

Photo: ‘Super blood wolf moon’ inks Durango skies

It happened this weekend during the super blood moon and experts think it's the first time it's ever happened during a lunar eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon appears about ten thousand times dimmer than usual, so seeing the bright flash of the impact is much easier.

The dramatically named "super blood wolf moon eclipse" of January 20 and 21 was a sight to behold all on its own.

A blood moon is another name given to a total lunar eclipse, which happens when the Earth moves in between the sun and the moon.

Astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo has spent the last decade training his telescopes and cameras on the moon during lunar eclipses, hoping to capture just such an impact during such an event.

Madiedo observed the meteorite flash through Spain's Moons Impacts Detection and Analysis System, also known as MIDAS, which is run by the University of Huelva and the Institution of Astrophysics of Andalucia.

The roughly 37.9 million-square-kilometer surface of the moon is hit by an estimated 2,800kg of meteor material (rock and ice) each day. Check out video from the event. "In total I spent nearly two days without sleeping, including the monitoring time during the eclipse", Madiedo told Gizmodo.

Perhaps because the impact occurred in a darker region of the lunar surface, the bright flash was caught by other observers too, and speculatively posted to Reddit before Madiedo's confirmation came on Monday. And the brilliant white light flashes associated with the impacts can often be seen from Earth.

The event was the result of a supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse. "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".

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