(Newser) – A car-sized asteroid burst into the moon aftermost year and larboard the longest-ever afterglow for a lunar appulse anytime seen—one big abundant to be spotted by the naked eye beneath acceptable examination conditions, a Spanish astronomer said Monday. Jose Maria Madiedo said he witnessed the bang while alive two lunar-observing telescopes on September 11, AFP reports. “At that moment, I accomplished that I had apparent a actual attenuate and amazing event,” he said. The 8-second afterglow was for a abrupt moment as ablaze as the Pole Star in the arctic hemisphere, British scientists said.
The asteroid advised about 880 pounds, abstinent up to 4.5 anxiety in diameter, addled at almost 56,000mph, and acquired a bang agnate to 15 bags of TNT—making it three times bigger than any added such recorded hit on the moon, Space.com reports. Similar asteroids hit Earth added frequently than ahead believed, but our atmosphere burns them up into alleged “fireball” meteors; on the moon, it’s aloof a absolute hit. NASA has apparent added than 300 meteors hit the lunar apparent back 2005, and affairs to accumulate watching. “In this way we apprehend to analyze clusters of rocks that could accord acceleration to accepted appulse contest on both all-embracing bodies,” Madiedo said. “We additionally appetite to acquisition out area the impacting bodies appear from.”
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