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Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Lunar Impact!

Can you see a the flash of a meteor hitting the Moon? Ordinarily such an event would be hard to see, because large enough impacts occur so rarely that the probability we are looking in the right spot in the breif instant of the flash is increddibly low. Our chances are much improved if the Moon is in the path of a meteor shower (and substantially dark). During the 1999 and 2001 Leonid showers, David Dunham recorded images of impact flashes.

This year you have a cahnce to see Lunar meteor impacts yourself. On the morning of April 22 the Lyrid meteor shower crossed the Moon. While the lyrid shower is pretty dismal from the Southern Hemisphere, the Moon will be in an excellent position for us to see meteor impacts. See this Space Weather article giving full details of the event. Also see this NASA article as well.

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