The mass of the largest Moon meteorite in recorded history has been calculated

25.02.2014

The astronomers from the University of Seville have analyzed the meteorite crash on the Moon’s surface which took place on 11 September 2013. According to the astronomers, the mass of the meteorite was at least 400 kilos.

The event was observed by two telescopes based in the Observatory of Seville, southern Spain. The flash of light in the wake of the strike lasted about 8 seconds and was brighter than the Pole Star. The image analysis showed it had released energy equivalent to 15 tons of TNT. According to the scientists, the size of the meteorite could amount to 60 cm — 1,4 m depending on density. Its speed was estimated as 61 km per hour.

The September strike has been the greatest ever recorded. The previous record-holding collision happened in May 2013: a 40-kilo meteorite crashed on the Moon’s surface producing an explosion with the impact energy equivalent to 5 tons of TNT. Celestial bodies colliding with the Moon could be potentially used for the lunar soil chemical analysis. Written-off GRAIL spacecraft was earlier sent to the Moon for this purpose.