If that wasn't quite cool enough, review of the footage taken of the moon has revealed that, during the eclipse, it was struck by a meteorite. The telescopes used by MIDAS have high-sensitivity video cameras that are used to continuously record events during observations.
Madiedo said it's the first impact flash ever seen during a lunar eclipse, although such crater-forming impacts are common, the Associated Press reported.
Astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo has spent the last decade training his telescopes and cameras on the moon during lunar eclipses, hoping to capture just such an impact during such an event.
Madiedo and his team have been hoping to capture a lunar impact for some time, but normally the brightness of the Moon makes it very hard. "I was really exhausted when the eclipse was over".
Software is then used to analyse the position and moment of the impact on the Moon with an accuracy of about 0.001 seconds.
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'I was really, really happy when this happened, ' he told New Scientist. "In this way, these flashes are well contrasted against the darker background". NASA has a team dedicated to monitoring these flashes because they can teach us about the debris cluttering our solar system, as reported by Space.com.
"I have not heard of anyone seeing an impact like this during a lunar eclipse before", said Sara Russell, a professor of planetary sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. There are other kinds of possible lunar eclipses, such as a partial eclipse (which happens when the moon goes partially into the deep shadow) and a penumbral eclipse (when the moon passes into the lighter part of Earth's shadow, barely darkening at all).
The event was the result of a supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse. "I did not want to miss any potential impact event", he explained in an email.
"I jumped out of the chair I was sitting on".