Lunar Impact Images


NASA - Lunar Impact Monitoring -- NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) is conducting a survey of meteoroids striking the lunar surface. They are asking the amateur astronomer community to help. Please visit the above links for more information.

A typical flash involves "a meteoroid the size of a softball hitting the Moon at 27 km/s and exploding with as much energy as 70 kg of TNT" and "the ejecta kicked out from an impact can travel hundreds of miles", says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO).    Here are a few recent articles at Science@NASA - Shooting Marbles at 16,000 mph and 100 Explosions on the Moon

Lunar Impact telescope setup...      Description of a lunar impact imaging run

Images of unconfirmed / probable impacts and cosmic rays

Clear Sky Clocks    GOES EAST    Apparent disk of the moon    Lunar Calendar

Lunar Meteoroid Impacts and How to Observe Them by Brian Cudnik

Download LunarScan 1.53 Lunar Impact detection software by Pete Gural.
LunarScan Shortcuts

Download LunarScan 1.5 Previous version.
LunarScan Quick Start Guide (for older versions of Lunarscan)

Download Nudger the Lunar Auto-Guider by George Varros

Image of lunar impact April 28, 2009 01:45:26UT
April 28, 2009 01:45:26UT    Larger Image  Original

This image is comprised of three video fields where the brightest pixels are used (Adobe "Lighten") to somewhat enhance the event. Each video field was adjusted in brightness by decreasing the max Level from 255 to 174.

Confirmed Lunar Impact

April 28, 2009 01:45:26UT

This impact event was too dim to be detected using LunarScan and was found visually only after being alerted to it by Ron Suggs at MSFC who was seeking confirmation. Their remote telescope was under cloudy weather and thus unavailable for a remote confirmation. What luck!

Meteor Environment Office at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

Confirmed Lunar Impact

March 13, 2008 02:04:21UT

This impact event was also picked up in the three telescopes used by the Meteor Environment Office at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

Impact map ~ 78W 23S

Image of an earlier probable impact at 00:13:37UT March 13, 2008

Image of lunar impact March 13, 2008
Confirmed Lunar Impact March 13, 2008 02:04:21UT Animated GIF  Larger Image

Image of Confirmed Lunar Impact Dec 18, 2007
December 18, 2007, 01:08:41UT

Confirmed Lunar Impact

December 18, 2007 01:08:41UT

Full Image This impact was very dim for my setup. See the arrow pointing to the faint speck in the cropped image on the left.

Although I'm not sure, this was possibly picked up in four telescopes; two in Huntsville Al, one in Georgia and this one located in Maryland.

NASA - Lunar Impact Monitoring

Confirmed Lunar Impact

April 22, 2007 03:12:24UT

possibly a Lyrid, Imaged with an 8 inch Celestron and StellaCam II at prime focus. Bill Cooke and company at the NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at MSFC also picked up the flash on their instruments thus confirming the event.

The flash was recorded on two frames and is located just above and to the right of the center of the image.

My first lunar impact
Click for larger image  Animation

Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Observational Campaign - In 2009, the booster that delivers the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to the moon, will be smashed into a permanently shadowed crater near the lunar south pole in an attempt to excavate signs of water ice and other stuff. An observational campaign will be in place to solicit observations of the effects of the impact which should be visible with the right equipment. Here's a chance to use your telescope for science.