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A Record-Breaking Rock Smashed Into the Moon Last Year

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For eight seconds on Sept. 11, 2013, a small spot on the moon flashed bright like the sun, the result of a historic impact.

That day, a meteorite about the size of a car smacked into the lunar surface. The moon is pockmarked by craters left by space rocks, but a report published Tuesday by the Royal Astronomical Society says this one had the largest impact ever recorded.

Jose Maria Madiedo, an astronomer and professor at the University of Huelva in Spain, was manning two telescopes designed to find these impacts when he noticed a glowing white dot in a dark, lava-filled region of the moon called Mare Nubium. When the light lingered for around eight seconds, he knew he had seen something unusual. Read more…

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