Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera

17 March 2013 Event

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Natural Event

A team of Marshall Space Flight Center scientists monitors the Moon for flashes of light caused by meteoroids impacting the surface. Their brightest recorded flash was captured on 17 March 2013, this event was so bright that an observer on the Earth could spot it without a telescope! According to the Marshall Space Flight Center team, the meteor involved in the March 17th event weighed 40 kg, was 0.3 - 0.4 meters in diameter, and was traveling at an approximate speed of 56,000 mph. A LROC NAC image acquired on 28 July 2013 revealed a new 18-meter (59 feet) diameter crater that corresponds to the location of the bright flash. We are certain it is the correct crater because it does not appear in the “before” NAC image (10 March 2012).

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