This month’s issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society reported that on September 11, 2013, Spanish astronomers spotted a meteorite with a weight of nearly 1,000 lbs crashing into the surface of the Moon. Astronomers say the record-breaking impact would have generated a flash of light bright enough to be seen from Earth. The strike was recorded by the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), a series of telescopes in southern Spain. The report says:
“Usually lunar impacts have a very short duration – just a fraction of a second. But the impact we detected lasted over eight seconds. It was almost as bright as the Pole Star, which makes it the brightest impact event that we have recorded from Earth.”
Astronomers say the meteorite struck the Moon at a speed of about 38,000 MPH with an energy equivalent of 15 tons of TNT and left a crater about the width of half a football field.