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New Crater On Moon Caught On Video 247

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the to-the-moon-alice dept.
From A Far Away Land writes "NASA has released a video clip of a meteorite striking the surface of the Moon. From the article: 'On May 2, 2006, a meteoroid hit the Moon's Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) with 17 billion joules of kinetic energy -- that's about the same as 4 tons of TNT," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL.'"
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New Crater On Moon Caught On Video

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  • by rramdin (857005) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:33PM (#15529109)
    Probably about 10 times more interesting but half as riveting as Girls Gone Wild.
  • Conspiracy? (Score:2, Funny)

    by x2A (858210)
    What's the bet they're show us more meteorites hitting the moon, so when we discover no evidance of the moon landing, they can blame it on being destroyed by meteorites? ;-)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:39PM (#15529140)
      You fool. They didn't fake the moon landing. They didn't have to. They travel there on a daily basis with technology reverse engineered from the Roswell crash. They are preparing us for additional "meteor" strikes which will actually be missiles designed to knock out secret alien and ex-soviet moon bases!
    • - who modded "flamebait"...

      ;-) <-- huh?

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:35PM (#15529124)
    wait, I don't understand... how many joules are in a library of congress?
    • 12,500, duh. Just ask google.

    • by igny (716218) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:50PM (#15529185) Homepage Journal
      Everyone knows that energy is calculated in BigMacs (229 of delicious kcal). That explosion was mere 17,743 BigMacs.
      • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Informative)

        by kalpaha (667921)
        I'm sorry, but you're wrong! Everyone knows mars bars (278 kilocalories) is the real unit of explosion strength.
        Google does these kind of calculations very easily: enter
        17 billion joules / 278 kilocalories

        into google, and you will receive the answer:
        (17 billion joules) / (278 kilocalories) = 14 615.4587

        So the explosion was ~14615 mars bars.
      • by mgblst (80109)
        Or another way, a weekyl intake for the average American... just kidding, we all know that you are not all fatties.
        • just kidding, we all know that you are not all fatties.

          This is a completely offtopic comment but it has to be said. You don't know how correct you are in your comment. I'm one of those non-fatties and let me tell you, trying to find a pair of pants in my size (30" waist) is something close to impossible.

          It matters not what store, time of year or any other combination you can think of, the dearth of clothes in general that I can wear is extremely small. For example, there were early Fathers Day s

          • I'm not exactly thin (okay, I'm fat), but even I am amazed at the sizes avaliable at stores. With a 40 inch waist (32 inch inseam), I am at about 220 lbs. How big do you have to be to fill out 58-inch pants?!?! A little chubby is one thing, but at least I can sit in normal chairs and fit through doors.
          • Ha, my girlfriend's sister has a startup discount clothing business, and she keeps complaining that her supplier usually sends her 30" pants that few people buy.
    • knowledge = power = work / time = energy / time
      knowledge * time = energy

      So it all depends on how much time you spend in the library.
  • by SamMichaels (213605) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:38PM (#15529132)
    When it first loaded I thought, "where's the damn sound"?

    Then I saw it was a gif...and thought, "why is it an animated picture and not a video with sound?"

    Then I realized I needed more caffeine. Oops.
  • Colony on the moon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vldragon (981127) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:40PM (#15529142)
    If a mere 10 inch meteor can create a 4 ton explosion then I don't think it would ever be a good idea to try to put a colony on the moon. If this kind of thing happens often, and the say it does, there would have to be a whole lot of protection for any structure we put on the moon. Or develope shields...
    • They could always build underground.
    • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:55PM (#15529204)
      I think a meteorite striking a lunar base would be like shooting at an ant crawling on the side of a barn. From a mile away. With your eyes closed. Of course, the thing about random chance is that it's bound to happen eventually, but I don't think any astronauts will lose sleep over it.
      • They'd just wake up dead.
      • I think the secret is to build your first moon colony in the newest crater.
      • I think a meteorite striking a lunar base would be like shooting at an ant crawling on the side of a barn. From a mile away. With your eyes closed. Of course, the thing about random chance is that it's bound to happen eventually, but I don't think any astronauts will lose sleep over it.

        I hope it's not a one-in-a-million chance, because the thing about those is that they happen nine times out of ten.

        Those poor astronauts. Chances are, one day they'll wake up dead.
        • Sooner or later, everyone wakes up dead.

          The question is, do you wake up from a dream of sitting around posting banalities on Slashdot, or do you wake up from a dream of exploring the moon?

          Obviously I'm one of the former types, but I have no objections to anybody waking up dead from the latter dream.
      • by BAM0027 (82813)
        I am not a physicist, but it seems like your statement is kinda naive. The fact is that the moon has practically no atmosphere to fend off particles of any size, so while this latest one was large enough to view from here, there _may_ be a large number of fast moving particles that could cause significant damage.

        We don't notice it here on Earth at all because we have miles of gas to buffer the surface from most projectiles. While it might still be a very slim chance, I think it might be more frequent than y
        • by shotfeel (235240)
          And add to that they've just started watching for these, so impacts of this size are not all that uncommon. And I'm with you in assuming there are probably many more, smaller impacts that occur. Just a couple quotes to indicate frequency:

          During a telescope test last November 7th, Suggs and Swift recorded an explosion on their very first night of observing. A piece of debris from Comet Encke struck the plains of Mare Imbrium, making a crater about 3 meters wide."

          Now that regular monitoring has begun, Cooke's
    • by JerBear0 (456762)
      Call the Israelis. That Trophy [defense-update.com] system isn't quite a shield, but it sure looks like one on the video (wmv) [3dg.co.il].
    • If a mere 10 inch meteor can create a 4 ton explosion then I don't think it would ever be a good idea to try to put a colony on the moon. If this kind of thing happens often, and the say it does, there would have to be a whole lot of protection for any structure we put on the moon. Or develope shields...

      The moon is big, really, really big. Colonies are small, really, really small.
    • I tell you what... You stay back here on the boring old Earth. We're going to the moon, and franly we don't need your bad attitude ruining it for us.
    • If a mere 10 inch meteor can create a 4 ton explosion then I don't think it would ever be a good idea to try to put a colony on the moon. If this kind of thing happens often, and the say it does, there would have to be a whole lot of protection for any structure we put on the moon. Or develope shields...

      Why not put the base underground? Ten meters or so should do it. Probably the temperature is more stable underground, making environmental maintenance a little simpler. Spread a bunch of solar panels on

    • by Ex-MislTech (557759) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @07:05AM (#15531138)
      Keep in mind not long ago a meteor hit Norway with the force of
      the Hiroshma bomb.

      Russia was hit about 100 years ago, the gulf of mexico millions of
      years ago, and their are many bollide impact sites still visible
      all over the earth .

      As for ways to protect a moonbase, the best way would be to make
      a mine, and have the base deep underground with multipe exit tunnels
      and redundant compartmentalization like newer US navy ships .

      Thus why the USS cole in yemen had a huge hole in its side but didnt sink,
      after the bombing by terrorists several years ago.

      A underground moonbase also would not experience the temperature extremes
      of the surface, and would reduce radiation to near zero .

      Ex-MislTech
    • by Killshot (724273)
      Yeah.. it's a pretty bad idea to put a base on the moon and have it be exposed to meteors. The International Space Station is much better and totally immune from such threats.
    • So, how deep would a colony have to be buried to provide protection against this sort of thing?

      Chip H.
  • by xkr (786629) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:40PM (#15529143)
    Which terrorist group is NASA blaming ?
    • Which terrorist group is NASA blaming ?

      The queers. They're in it with the aliens. It's part of a diabolical plan to build lunar landing strips for gay Martians.

      So NASA says it's San Fransisco. I disagree - I think it's Britain, and it's part of a diabolical plan to build lunar landing strips for British Martians. After all, we know that every evil person in outer space speaks with an English accent.
    • This was obviously aimed for earth and probably originated on Gamilon.
      Or perhaps they are being launched by bugs from Klendathu.
  • Mentioned a fireball, but... no air, no fire, no fireball. Little bit underwhelmed.
  • by zegebbers (751020) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:42PM (#15529149) Homepage
    That's all well and good, but how many football fields was the impact?
  • by Audent (35893) <audent AT ilovebiscuits DOT com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:44PM (#15529156) Homepage
    NASA has released a video clip of its server being struck with 17 billion hits all at the same time.

    "That's about the same as 4 tons of TNT, or an entire Slashdot community" says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL.
  • What is 17 billion joules when mad earthlings have tried to Cyclops you? [wikimedia.org]
  • by packetmon (977047) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:51PM (#15529189) Homepage
    I've seen a documentary on the Discovery Channel about the possibility of a meteorite hitting earth pretty hard. Come to think of it, last week a meteorite struck finland. [aftenposten.no] What's interesting is the United States Air Force has the following:

    6.7 Asteroid Mitigation System
    Brief Description
    The asteroid mitigation system protects the Earth/Moon system from earth-crossing objects (ECO) by either deflecting or fragmenting ECO they no longer pose a threat. Deflection could be accomplished using nuclear explosive devices.

    Capabilities
    Deflects or destroys objects in space having the size and trajectory to threaten the Earth/Moon system An Operational Analysis for Air Force 2025: An Application of Value-Focused Thinking to Future Air and Space Capabilities (page 135) [af.mil]

    Scientist have been trying to figure out when something big will hit. Imagine if what hit the moon hit a major city... I'd definitely rather see my tax dollars spent on a project to deter meteorites as opposed to seeing money thrown around with people crying "Al Qaeda" anytime.
    • Imagine if what hit the moon hit a major city...

      I understand your point - anything large enough to make it through the atmosphere into a city could be mistaken for an attack by terrorists or perhaps another country. However, for a rock of this size TFA actually says:

      If a rock like that hit Earth, it would never reach the ground. "Earth's atmosphere protects us," Cooke explains. "A 10-inch meteoroid would disintegrate in mid-air, making a spectacular fireball in the sky but no crater." The Moon is diff

    • Unfortunately, it is far more likely to have a bomb go off in a major city from terrorists than to be knocked in the head by a meteorite. Human behavior is far more unpredictable and imminent than a meteor large enough to survive burn through atmosphere and do significant damage going unnoticed by astronomers worldwide.

      Even then, do you want the fear that a meteor is going to kill you in 3 hours 45 minutes or to just live like a normal day, then kaboom?

      And I'd rather my tax dollars that do go to NASA be sp
    • by NereusRen (811533) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @10:51PM (#15529633)
      Imagine if what hit the moon hit a major city...
      That small of an object (only 10 inches diameter?) would burn up in our atmosphere. It only struck so hard on the moon because there's nothing slowing it down before it hits the surface. I went over to the trusty Asteroid Impact Simulator [arizona.edu] for a quick comparison. The smallest size you can select is 1 meter in diameter, but here's what it has to say about a fairly average 1m projectile "hitting" earth:

              Energy before atmospheric entry: 2.27 x 10^11 Joules = 0.54 x 10-4 MegaTons TNT [note: the one that hit the moon only had 1.7 x 10^10 Joules of energy... less than one tenth of this hypothetical.]
              The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth is less than 1 month.
              The projectile bursts into a cloud of fragments at an altitude of 49200 meters
              No crater is formed, although large fragments may strike the surface.


      We only need to be worried about meteors a few orders of magnitude larger.

      (Hell, TFA even explained that it would burn up, but I guess I can't expect anyone around here to know that...)
    • You're forgetting that Al Qaeda would happily obliterate any number of cities if they had the power.

      Just because they haven't yet doesn't mean it's through lack of trying.

    • I'd definitely rather see my tax dollars spent on a project to deter meteorites as opposed to seeing money thrown around with people crying "Al Qaeda" anytime.

      Me too, but
      Imagine if what hit the moon hit a major city...

      First, as others have pointed out, it wouldn't reach the ground.
      Second, we're talking about an explosion of 4 tonnes of TNT. I'm not greatly familiar with bomb sizes, but I think this is a few large conventional bomb, a large car bomb or small truck bomb. Unless the aim was unlucky, you're onl
      • Second, we're talking about an explosion of 4 tonnes of TNT. I'm not greatly familiar with bomb sizes, but I think this is a few large conventional bomb, a large car bomb or small truck bomb.

        Correct. The U.S. used two 500-lb bombs to destroy the little cinder block house that Al-Zarqawi was in. Four times that in a large city would hardly cause widespread devastation.

    • Imagine if what hit the moon hit a major city...
      Falling stars are pretty.
  • Slashdotted ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joebert (946227) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:55PM (#15529208) Homepage
    Is it just me, or did NASA just get Slashdotted ?

    How the hell do you /. NASA ?!
  • by SensitiveMale (155605) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:06PM (#15529252)
    I've seen Wile e. Coyote blow stuff up on the moon lots of time and it looks completely different from that obviously faked footage.
  • by w33t (978574) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:09PM (#15529262) Homepage
    I said it in another thread - but I do love it when we get to see actual video of astronomical footage.

    Don't get me wrong, I love astronomy and the photographs gleaned from it are simply the most profound images ever seen by mankind. Please understand the significance of what I mean there.

    But when we can actually see these objects in motion, in-vivo so to speak, it's just so remarkable!

    I only hope that when the next generation space telescopes are in orbit that they will be able to capture the streams of x-rays shooting from the poles of neutron stars exciting the gas of the surrounding nebula like a gigantic cosmic northern lights.

    I *heart* astronomy :]
  • Sagan's account (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg (148257) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:32PM (#15529361) Journal
    Carl Sagan's documentary Cosmos, described an event that happened in the middle ages. Some monks were sitting outside one evening when a meteoroid hit the moon and caused a naked-eye visible fireball. Evidently the event lasted long enough for the entire monastary to see it. If this current one only lasted half a second, the one Sagan described must have been huge. Problem was that the event flew straight in the face of Psalm 119 which reads:

    As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be: for ever and ever. Amen.

    The significance for the monks was that the Bible was telling them that the earth and heavens were unchanged since Creation and would remain unchanged forever after. Here was evidence that what their faith was telling them wasn't true. Sagan said the event caused quite a bit of problems for the monastery as the monks tried to reconcile their faith and reality.

    If anyone knows anything more about the event Sagan was talking about, I'd really like to hear it. I've often wondered if the crater it left has been identified.

    • Re:Sagan's account (Score:5, Informative)

      by canatech (982314) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:55PM (#15529443)
    • Re:Sagan's account (Score:2, Insightful)

      by letxa2000 (215841)
      The significance for the monks was that the Bible was telling them that the earth and heavens were unchanged since Creation and would remain unchanged forever after. Here was evidence that what their faith was telling them wasn't true. Sagan said the event caused quite a bit of problems for the monastery as the monks tried to reconcile their faith and reality.

      I've been surprised before, but on the face that sounds like hogwash. That a flash of light on the moon (when they didn't know what the moon was

      • You're talking about a backward group of people who believed in witches and dragons here, this is mediaeval times. It's really not that far fetched.
    • Re:Sagan's account (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity@@@sbcglobal...net> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @10:58PM (#15529672) Homepage Journal
      I think the obvious answer is that getting from here

      As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be: for ever and ever.


      to here

      the Bible was telling them that the earth and heavens were unchanged since Creation and would remain unchanged forever after


      is a non sequitur... in context, the latter does not necessarily follow from the former.
    • He named the crater in the documentary. As another reply already said, it is the spectacular crater Giordano Bruno, which I think is the only crater large enough to be seen by the naked eye from Earth. (At least, the dust rays radiating from it can be seen.) It can even be seen in Slashdot's "Moon" icon, as a bright spot in the middle near the bottom.
    • Do you know what verse in 119 supposedly reads "As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be: for ever and ever. Amen."? The closest thing I found was verses 89-90:

      Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.

      This verse speaks of God's faithfulness in that the universe continues to exist and function very much in the same way that it was created. For example, it could be said that the reason why we can

    • The significance for the monks was that the Bible was telling them that the earth and heavens were unchanged since Creation and would remain unchanged forever after.

      This is not in scripture, but is a belief of classical cosmology, which divided the universe into two major regions, above and below the Moon. Below the Moon change could occur. Above the Moon it was assumed on the basis of no evidence (that is, on faith) that change did not and could not occur. This bit of faith was given a big boost by the
  • by GhaleonStrife (916215) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @10:27PM (#15529536)
    "Caught on Video" makes it sound like something dirty was happening. "Hot meteorite on Moon action! All caught on video!"
  • If you recall - MoonBase Alpha was underground not only because of meteor strikes, but because of nuclear waste explosions, and some drunken Eagle pilot crashing his shuttle into the moon at the start of the episode every week from 1975 to 1977.

    You can't just futz around waiting for the next spectacular space crash set to violins, you have to take basic precautions.

    Trust me - I know - I saw it on TV!
  • Quality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porneL (674499) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @06:54AM (#15531105) Homepage
    Is NASA using cellphone cameras now?
    2.5mb of MJPEG noise reencoded as GIF to show off 5x5 pixel spot?

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer

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