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Moon Space Science

Scientists Witness Meteor Strike on the Moon 139

Lonesome Squash writes "BBC reports that scientists have seen a smallish meteor strike on the moon. Impact only equivalent to 70kg of TNT, but still, you wouldn't want to have it land on your moonbase. At that size, it's kind of neat they saw it at all."
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Scientists Witness Meteor Strike on the Moon

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  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by __aacvzh55 ( 843836 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:34PM (#14384892)
    • by Tune ( 17738 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:49PM (#14385026)
      This proves that - apparently - scientists have finally been able to *exactly* reproduce previous empirical results. Just imagine: not only is the impact exactly the same and on the same spot; on top of that the same musings appear on /. !

    • Re:Dupe (Score:3, Funny)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      Don't be silly. The last one was about an explosion on the moon. That's exciting stuff. This one is simply about an ordinary old meteor strike.

      • It's discomforting to know that if I'd written and submitted this story several weeks ago after I first checked to see that it had been posted, that I could have had yet another accepted story, and this would be a triplicate story.

        I guess dupes only happen on Slashdot once in an exploding Blue Moon though...
    • I read this last year. It was neat, sorta, but a bit overrated.

      What was more interesting from the article, was the toxicity of Moon Dust and the fact that it's highly abrasive, sticks to everything and gets into everything because it's so light.

      Seems back when the contest was announced for an autonomous robot to pick up regolite having to contend with the dust should be the greatest consideration.

      In organic gardening, I used fossilized diatoms (diatomaceous earth, often used in pool filters) to fight wo

    • Re:Dupe (Score:1, Offtopic)

      Whats with the mod abuse of all our replies being labeled offtopic? I wasnt the one who said dupe, I just responded to the guy who did. Guess I can watch my karma burn.
    • Dupes are good. It gives us a chance to read topics posted while we were sleeping. Please have in mind that /. is read all over the globe.
    • Re:Dupe (Score:4, Funny)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:10PM (#14385614) Journal

      Yes, but look at the misleading title:

      Scientists Witness Meteor Strike on the Moon

      I mean, when did we get scientists back on the moon in the first place? And was the meteor picketing, or was this a sit-down strike?

      Corrected headline:

      Scientists Witness Meteor Strike the Moon

      • Well, in the theme of hair splittery,

              Scientists Witness Moon Meteor Strike

        But who's counting?
  • I don't understand (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pingular ( 670773 )
    How they get that [] from that []. Is there some kind of science behind it, or is it just guesswork?
  • by BushCheney08 ( 917605 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:36PM (#14384914)
    Wasn't that same JiffyPop diagram used for another article recently?
  • by cciRRus ( 889392 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:36PM (#14384922)
    The meteor must have destroyed the moon buggy that we are searching all along! In your face, conspiracy theorists!
  • Danm it! I paid $20 dollars for that plot an all I got was this lousy meteorite hit. It's always the same. The minute you buy, some chump down the street gets blown away or some meteorite just crashes all over prime development land. And me with all these solar power bills to pay.

    What next!
  • It's a shame (Score:4, Interesting)

    by towaz ( 445789 ) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:38PM (#14384938)
    That no one is visiting the moon anytime soon; well hopefully China. The amount of meteors that must be around could probable find ones like that rock with worms in it.
    Would settle the score about earth contamination at least.
  • FF VII-2 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ironballs ( 915117 )
    To me sounds like Sephiroth has been defeated again
  • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:51PM (#14385034)
    There is an urban legend that at one point, the US Department of Defense actually wanted to NUKE the moon. I think the idea was supposedly that they would nuke a point on the moon that would appear to be one of the edges of the moon, as viewed from Moscow, so Muscovites (including the KGB) could actually see the blast with the naked eye. This was, of course, to be a demonstration of American military might designed to impress and frighten the USSR.

    Can anyone comment upon the truth (or lack thereof) of this particular rumor?
  • (For those who R'd TFA)

    Don't you love cool images that make you say "wow!" and have a tiny caption at the bottom, saying:

    "The impact may have looked something like this" or
    "artist's rendering of ..."?

    I think I'd stay with the real thing, thank you.
  • by Dante Shamest ( 813622 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:55PM (#14385062)
    And I thought my Meteor Strike didn't work. I just need to polish up my aiming.
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:59PM (#14385091)
    The NY City subway drivers union filed a complaint against whomever is hurling rocks at the moon, claiming they're just trying to biggyback on the success of their recent strike.
    Intelligent Rock Hurler was not available for comment. His coworkers who plot out the precise trajectories of rocks that result in these strikes also refused to talk to our reporters.
  • Just use the word small, smallish just means rather small. Now the word small just looks weird.
  • I guess that lunar Ben Affleck and lunar Bruce Willis and their ragtag group of lunar drilling guys failed to blow up the asteroid.
  • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @01:08PM (#14385134)
    M-O-O-N, that spells explosion...
  • Last night, out of the blue, my son wanted to know about craters on the moon and meteors, so we got out some astronomy books and chatted about the comet that crashed into Jupiter.

    He's five, so I doubt he's reading Slashdot (yet)...
  • by qzulla ( 600807 ) <> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @01:14PM (#14385162)
    Now, I am no astro expert but I *think* I have the answer to this one:

    However, as Nasa plans to return to the Moon by 2020, the agency says it needs to understand what happens after lunar impacts in order to protect astronauts.

    I am guessing that there will be a crater of some sort after the impact. Maybe some floating dust. That sort of thing.


    • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @01:29PM (#14385266) Homepage
      > I am guessing that there will be a crater of some sort after the
      > impact. Maybe some floating dust.

      Dust doesn't float very well in a vacuum. In fact, it doesn't float at all. Dust particles created by the explosion will follow ballistic trajectories just like those of the larger fragments. This is important because while you are unlikely to be hit by a large chunk if you're kilometers away 1000 m/s dust could do a lot of damage.
      • Dust doesn't float very well in a vacuum . . .

        I think it would look something like "floating" where the dust particles collide with each other an are sent off in new directions. This would simulate the floating phenomenon in areas where the concentration of dust is sufficiently great.

        Your point about the 1000 m/s dust made me wonder what the escape velocity is on the moon. I did a little googling, and that number appears to be around 2400 m/s. So I guess the good news is there's an upper limit to the

        • So I guess the good news is there's an upper limit to the speed of the dust you'll get pummelled with on the moon from meteorite-ejected debris.

          You mean, if you are shielded from dust on ballistic trajectories? The stuff ejected sideways will travel for some distance, influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon, before escaping.

      • Actually, IIRC, lunar dust tends to hover over the regolith due to some combination of the low gravity and static charges in the dust.
    • Watching the moon is no doubt useful, but to prepare for protecting astronauts against meteor strikes? That seems like a waste of time. I doubt there will be colonies on the moon in the next 100 years and even then, the cost of building a structure that can withstand the force of 70KG of TNT seems unreasonable. If we do live on the moon, it will be a bare bones outpost and the people that go there will be cowboys with little concern for death.
  • by srobert ( 4099 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @01:17PM (#14385178)
    I remember it well, it was only 7 years ago, but somehow it seems more like 30.
    • The so-called explosion wasn't even "NEAR" moon-base alpha, was far away on the dark side at several of the the nuclear waste disposal and storage facilities. As I recall, it took the better part of an hour by Eagle landers to reach it. This safety measure protected the residents of Moon Base Alpha even in the worst-case scenario that occurred in '99

      Furthermore, It's minute long spontaneous ignition (caused by improper management of the facility and not following the safety specifications) was hardly an exp
  • We know the moon gets struck often, or atleast, that was the thinking when I was in middle school, and that the Earth's atmosphere protects us from similar events.

    What I would like to know is, had this same object entered Earth's atmosphere, would it have made it to the surface or burt up? How much atmosphere (as a percentage of Earth's where Earth's = 100%) would be required to "protect" surface objects from significant damage?

    • has some neat pointers:

      It turns out that what these meteoroids lack in mass they make up for in speed, and this is what causes the flash of light in the sky. Meteoroids enter the atmosphere at extremely high speeds -- 7 to 45 miles per second

      So how big does a meteoroid have to be to make it to the surface of the earth? Surprisingly, most of the meteoroids that reach the ground are especially small -- from microscopic debris to dust-particle-size pieces. They don't get vaporized becau
    • "How much atmosphere (as a percentage of Earth's where Earth's = 100%) would be required to "protect" surface objects from significant damage?"

      Apparently a lot more than we have...I just saw a Toyota truck get nailed on TV during the football game last night.

      Thank goodness it was one of those meteor-proof models!

  • What? Every science fiction movie I've seen has space sounds. Well, except for 2001, but I think it was just a bad copy and had the space sounds erased.
  • Well .... (Score:3, Funny)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @01:52PM (#14385462) Homepage Journal
    ... at least ONE moon landing was real....
  • 'cue dramatic music' There goes the moon ! Wait, this should have happened 6 years ago.. Curse you !!!!!
  • I meant to hit the Tycho crater with my driver! Oh well, time to go jouncing through the rough to go find my ball..
    They didn't mention anything in the warranty about hitting balls in 1/6th gravity..
  • For all we know the empire has sent a probe searching for the rebel base. Check this meteor impact we must.
  • I have been looking on [] and I can't for the life of me find any new craters.
  • Judging from that artists impression perhaps it was actually a strike from a batter pudding [].
  • This was clearly filmed in an underwater TV studio. Current meteor technology is not up to the task of successfully hitting the Moon, and why does the crosshair on the photo appear behind the meteor?

  • Because when I used to play Wing Commander, they would start out slowly. Next thing you knew, you were in a complete metor shower.

    Fun in Wing Commander, bad news for Earthlings.

  • Not the first time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by imemyself ( 757318 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @09:48PM (#14389052)
    This isn't the first time that people have seen meteors hitting the moon. In the 1500's I think it was, some monks in Europe saw what may have been a meteor/asteroid hitting the moon. It was mentioned in one movies/episodes of the Cosmos series. Though I have heard that some people think that it was just a metor breaking up in the Earth's atmosphere and that it just appeared to be over the moon because of their position. Also, some time around the 50's I think(either in the 40's, 50's, or 60's I think I'm not sure), a Japanese scientist saw a small flash of light that was almost certainly a meteor. I almost think that he had a picture of it as well, though I'm not certain.
  • Dupes are common because not everyone sees everything the first time around, nor reads the archives. They happen. If the 'wasted space' is something to complain about, consider how many whiners waste space calling DUPE to every dupe, creating dupedupes. Far more than the dupes themselves.

    Of course if complaining about dupes is a sort of conspicuous consumption behavior where you get to show how much time you have to keep track of what's on /. rather than doing something productive, or if it's just whining f
  • I had a friend, a physics prof at Hope College, who said he saw Lunar Transcient Phenomena when he was a student at Caltech. In the years afterwards I've never heard any more about LTP. Now I'm wondering if LTP is the same thing as these asteroid collisions we're hearing about.

    Anybody know?

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.