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100 Explosions On The Moon
Physorg ^ | 5-21-2008

Posted on 05/21/2008 2:11:19 PM PDT by blam

100 Explosions on the Moon

A map of the 100 explosions observed since late 2005.

Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under "L" ... for lunatic.

Not anymore. Over the past two and a half years, NASA astronomers have observed the Moon flashing at them not just once but one hundred times.

"They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). "A typical blast is about as powerful as a few hundred pounds of TNT and can be photographed easily using a backyard telescope."

As an example, he offers this video of an impact near crater Gauss on January 4, 2008.

The impactor was a tiny fragment of extinct comet 2003 EH1. Every year in early January, the Earth-Moon system passes through a stream of debris from that comet, producing the well-known Quadrantid meteor shower. Here on Earth, Quadrantids disintegrate as flashes of light in the atmosphere; on the airless Moon they hit the ground and explode.

"We started our monitoring program in late 2005 after NASA announced plans to return astronauts to the Moon," says team leader Rob Suggs of the MSFC. If people were going to be walking around up there, "it seemed like a good idea to measure how often the Moon was getting hit."

"Almost immediately, we detected a flash."

That first detection—"I'll never forget it," he says--came on Nov. 7, 2005, when a piece of Comet Encke about the size of a baseball hit Mare Imbrium. The resulting explosion produced a 7th magnitude flash, too dim for the naked eye but an easy target for the team's 10-inch telescope.

A common question, says Cooke, is "how can something explode on the Moon? There's no oxygen up there."

These explosions don't require oxygen or combustion. Meteoroids hit the moon with tremendous kinetic energy, traveling 30,000 mph or faster. "At that speed, even a pebble can blast a crater several feet wide. The impact heats up rocks and soil on the lunar surface hot enough to glow like molten lava--hence the flash."

During meteor showers such as the Quadrantids or Perseids, when the Moon passes through dense streams of cometary debris, the rate of lunar flashes can go as high as one per hour. Impacts subside when the Moon exits the stream, but curiously the rate never goes to zero.

"Even when no meteor shower is active, we still see flashes," says Cooke.

These "off-shower" impacts come from a vast swarm of natural space junk littering the inner solar system. Bits of stray comet dust and chips off old asteroids pepper the Moon in small but ultimately significant numbers. Earth gets hit, too, which is why on any given night you can stand under a dark sky and see a few meteors per hour glide overhead—no meteor shower required. Over the course of a year, these random or "sporadic" impacts outnumber impacts from organized meteor showers by a ratio of approximately 2:1.

"That's an important finding," says Suggs. "It means there's no time of year when the Moon is impact-free."

Fortunately, says Cooke, astronauts are in little danger. "The odds of a direct hit are negligible. If, however, we start building big lunar outposts with lots of surface area, we'll have to carefully consider these statistics and bear in mind the odds of a structure getting hit."

Secondary impacts are the greater concern. When meteoroids strike the Moon, debris goes flying in all directions. A single meteoroid produces a spray consisting of thousands of "secondary" particles all traveling at bullet-like velocities. This could be a problem because, while the odds of a direct hit are low, the odds of a secondary hit may be significantly greater. "Secondary particles smaller than a millimeter could pierce a spacesuit," notes Cooke.

At present, no one knows how far and wide secondary particles travel. To get a handle on the problem, Cooke, Suggs and colleagues are shooting artificial meteoroids at simulated moon dust and measuring the spray. This work is being done at the Vertical Gun Range at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA.

Meanwhile, back at the observatory, the team has upgraded their original 10-inch (25 cm) telescope to a pair of telescopes, one 14-inch (36 cm) and one 20-inch (51 cm), located at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. They've also established a new observing site in Georgia with a 14-inch telescope. Multiple telescopes allow double- and triple-checking of faint flashes and improve the statistical underpinnings of the survey.

"The Moon is still flashing," says Suggs. Indeed, during the writing of this story, three more impacts were detected.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: callingartbell; catastrophism; explosions; lunatic; map; moon
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1 posted on 05/21/2008 2:11:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

So that is how they will say the lunar module disappeared.


2 posted on 05/21/2008 2:13:00 PM PDT by gathersnomoss (General George Patton had it right.)
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To: blam

It’s a quagmire - we need to pull out immediately...


3 posted on 05/21/2008 2:13:01 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Friends with umbrellas are outstanding in the rain.)
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To: blam

Good thing it’s not cheese, we would have some real problems.


4 posted on 05/21/2008 2:13:01 PM PDT by BGHater ("If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied")
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To: LibreOuMort

lunar surface ping


5 posted on 05/21/2008 2:14:12 PM PDT by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: blam

WOW....as in War of the Worlds.


6 posted on 05/21/2008 2:15:38 PM PDT by AndrewB
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To: gathersnomoss

?Que?


7 posted on 05/21/2008 2:17:22 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: gathersnomoss

Oh, come off it. Everybody knows the aliens were lined up in their spaceships watching when the last earthlings went up there, and warned us not to come back. We must have reached some sort of treaty, or agreement, or accomodation with the other ones if we’re going to go back there. THEY’RE the ones driving our LEM around, don’t you know.


8 posted on 05/21/2008 2:18:19 PM PDT by ichabod1 (If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it, and if it stops moving, subsidize it.)
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To: gathersnomoss

???


9 posted on 05/21/2008 2:18:56 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: AndrewB; P-Marlowe; colorcountry; Colofornian; Pan_Yans Wife; FastCoyote; Elsie; Revelation 911; ...
WOW....as in War of the Worlds.

Don't worry...it's just the Quakers on the Moon celebrating the lunar new year.

10 posted on 05/21/2008 2:19:51 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Protected species legislation enacted May 2008.)
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To: blam
Looks like they finally decided to Nuke The Moon
11 posted on 05/21/2008 2:19:59 PM PDT by JamesP81 (George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a suggestion)
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To: blam

I guess they never read the Shiraishi Report.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050251/


12 posted on 05/21/2008 2:20:44 PM PDT by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: AndrewB
WOW....as in War of the Worlds.

Is the moon still in orbit? But then it isn't September 13th, 1999.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_1999

13 posted on 05/21/2008 2:21:57 PM PDT by kromike
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To: blam
"They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). "A typical blast is about as powerful as a few hundred pounds of TNT and can be photographed easily using a backyard telescope."

OMG, if one hits the nuke storage site of Moon Base Alpha, it could throw the entire moon out of its orbit!

Did I mention purple hair?

14 posted on 05/21/2008 2:24:03 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: blam
A common question, says Cooke, is "how can something explode on the Moon? There's no oxygen up there."

Sure. That's what They want you to believe. Other researchers know better:

In my extensive research of dissident American theories about the physical conditions on the Moon I have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is atmosphere, water and vegetation on the Moon, and that man does not need a space suit to walk on the Moon. A pair of jeans, a pullover and sneakers are just about enough.

SOURCE. Better click it fast, though, before They find out I've spilled the beans...

15 posted on 05/21/2008 2:25:57 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: blam
foo
16 posted on 05/21/2008 2:26:01 PM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: blam

They told Neil Armstrong not to take that Happy Fun Ball up there. But noooooooooo! He had to go and leave it up there. Well, told ya!


17 posted on 05/21/2008 2:27:08 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: TC Rider

My brother had a plastic toy ( about 18-24 inches long ) just like the one in the picture in the late 70’s


18 posted on 05/21/2008 2:31:23 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: mc5cents

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!


19 posted on 05/21/2008 2:31:38 PM PDT by null and void (The one word of Chinese our congress really understands is 'kowtow')
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To: blam

20 posted on 05/21/2008 2:32:22 PM PDT by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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To: blam

Møøn blastz can be nasti


21 posted on 05/21/2008 2:39:21 PM PDT by JRios1968 ("If you go over a cliff with all flags flying, you are still going over a cliff"--Ronald Reagan)
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To: ichabod1

“THEY’RE the ones driving our LEM around, don’t you know.”

It’s just not safe to park anywhere these days. :^)


22 posted on 05/21/2008 2:39:50 PM PDT by mkmensinger
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To: ichabod1

23 posted on 05/21/2008 2:40:12 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: blam

The impacts are kind of lopsided, most of them are on the left.


24 posted on 05/21/2008 2:40:35 PM PDT by fishtank (Fenced BORDERS, English LANGUAGE, Patriotic CULTURE: A good plan.)
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To: blam

By the way, Suggs must keep real busy, what with he’s touring with “Madness” again.


25 posted on 05/21/2008 2:41:30 PM PDT by fishtank (Fenced BORDERS, English LANGUAGE, Patriotic CULTURE: A good plan.)
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To: fishtank

That left is the leading edge of the orbit around the Earth, so it will sweep up any debris getting in the way. The trailing edge will have fewer impacts because only that debris that catchs up to the moon will impact. The empty space in the middle is due to the Earth getting in the way and intercepting debris.


26 posted on 05/21/2008 2:51:02 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Ask me again tomorrow.)
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To: null and void

Not taunting. Just reporting. That “stuff” in the fun ball was “assumed” to have fallen from “outer space”. Neil should have known better!!


27 posted on 05/21/2008 2:57:36 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: AndrewB
War Of The Worlds
28 posted on 05/21/2008 3:12:20 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Must be related to Glowbull Warming.

I expect Al to weigh in on this at any minute!!


29 posted on 05/21/2008 3:17:56 PM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: blam

Not to worry because they won’t have to shoot the moon scenes in a movie studio this time - now digital computer graphics will replace the real thing (/sarc)


30 posted on 05/21/2008 3:21:02 PM PDT by Godzilla (Decaffeinated coffee is like faith without works.)
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To: mnehrling
?Que?

I think he was referring to the nutjobs who do not believe that we ever landed on the Moon.

31 posted on 05/21/2008 3:31:08 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (The secret of Life is letting go. The secret of Love is letting it show.)
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To: JRios1968

Realli nasti, mind you.


32 posted on 05/21/2008 3:32:39 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (The secret of Life is letting go. The secret of Love is letting it show.)
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To: DustyMoment

Moon bat lunar warming....those asteroids better get their carbon credits checked and approved.


33 posted on 05/21/2008 3:42:53 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or tyranny)
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To: Elsie

34 posted on 05/21/2008 4:11:06 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: blam
Could be those 19th century astronauts Verne and Wells wrote about trying to get back home.


35 posted on 05/21/2008 4:22:51 PM PDT by x
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To: TC Rider

Purple Hair?

You mean the series “UFO”? :)


36 posted on 05/21/2008 4:27:07 PM PDT by Levante
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To: blam

That was fabulous, Thanks Blam.


37 posted on 05/21/2008 4:39:44 PM PDT by The Mayor ("A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Prov. 16:9))
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To: The Mayor

...in a related news report, the FBI and Homeland Defense Dept reported that these explosions were not the result of terrorist activity.


38 posted on 05/21/2008 4:48:16 PM PDT by El Whino
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To: The Mayor
Thanks. That was a 'cut' from a two album series titled "War Of The Worlds" by Jeff Wayne.

Here is a cut of another of my favorites from that album set.

39 posted on 05/21/2008 5:01:35 PM PDT by blam
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To: El Whino

and they had to have said that minutes after each explosion happened... : )


40 posted on 05/21/2008 5:03:31 PM PDT by The Mayor ("A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Prov. 16:9))
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To: blam

Very good....Thanks.


41 posted on 05/21/2008 5:45:23 PM PDT by The Mayor ("A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" (Prov. 16:9))
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To: greyfoxx39
Don't worry...it's just the Quakers on the Moon celebrating the lunar new year.

Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere etc.. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory.

Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half-century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do -- that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years.

He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

Oliver B Huntington 1892

42 posted on 05/21/2008 6:33:03 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Kirkwood

Very good answer!

Have you ever been to KIRKWOOD, MO?

They have a very nice example of a preserved railway station on the Amtrak line.

My home was built by John KIRKWOOD


43 posted on 05/22/2008 3:56:12 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: The Mayor

You have saved me having to type that!


44 posted on 05/22/2008 3:57:18 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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A Meteoroid Hits the Moon
NASA | 6/13/2006
Posted on 06/14/2006 6:37:50 AM PDT by steve-b
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1649147/posts

Geminid Meteors Seen Striking The Moon
New Scientist | 1-5-2006 | Kelly Young
Posted on 01/05/2007 12:31:14 PM PST by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1763035/posts


45 posted on 02/23/2009 2:12:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: blam
Note: this topic is from May 2008. And look -- some moronic troll put "callingartbell" into the keywords.
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

46 posted on 02/23/2009 2:13:26 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: zot

Ping.


47 posted on 02/23/2009 2:21:37 PM PST by Interesting Times (For the truth about "swift boating" see ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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To: Interesting Times

Thanks for the moon ping ping.

This is an indication of how much space debris hits the earth every day, and probably why the surface of the earth has built up over time (the older a layer of rock, the deeper it is buried).


48 posted on 02/23/2009 2:56:17 PM PST by zot
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To: blam

He who smelt it, dealt it.


49 posted on 02/23/2009 2:56:48 PM PST by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
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To: blam

Not totally clear why this has only become apparent *since* 2005 - it’s not as if the moon is some obscure object that no one bothered to look at before. What kind of instrumentation is needed to see and catalog these flashes? Backyard telescope and a camera? Hubble telescope? Something in between?


50 posted on 02/23/2009 2:59:29 PM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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