An Asteroid has a Cosmic Collision with the Moon… and Loses
Meet Daichi Fujii. He’s currently the curator at the Hiratsuka City Museum in Japan. On February 23, 2023, he decided to do a bit of lunar gazing when he witnessed something stellar. He happened to capture an asteroid hurtling through spaceasteroid hurtling through space at 30,000 mph just as it collided with the Moon’s surface.
As you know already, the Moon’s surface has loads of craters; some big, some small. Some of the biggest ones are from massive collisions millions of years ago. When Daichi witnessed this recent impact, he saw a bright light flash at the location of the event. Fortunately, he took some photos of it so that we can also see it.
Daichi says he suspects that NASA will soon have proper visuals of the crash space soon for us to see.
Now, for those of you who are wondering, here’s how asteroids affect the Earth and the Moon differently. We have a powerful protective shield that’s called…no, not The Force; the atmosphere. When an asteroid enters it, the atmosphere burns it down due to friction until little of it is left, depending on the size. We then call it a meteor.
The Moon doesn’t have a strong protective atmosphere. So, when asteroids hurtle towards the surface, there’s not much to burn them or slow them down. It’s fascinating that the massive collision caused a bright light to appear, probably from the sun reflecting off the resultant debris. I can’t wait to see more images and news from NASA, especially of the new crater.
Why studying these events is important has to do with future Moon missions. The last thing anyone wants is for an asteroid to hit at the location where Moonwalkers are busy. Of course, we would love to see visuals from the Moon’s surface as it happens, but not at the risk of human lives.
So, studying the behavior and result of these impacts is essential for future Lunar missions. We also need to develop some cool lunar surface or atmospheric shields, but that’s me venturing off into Star Wars territory again.