A space rock has slammed into the Moon, leaving a huge crater and causing a bright and long-lasting explosion that was visible from Earth, scientists said Monday. They said the event could shed light on the risk of similar objects hitting Earth.
Jose Maria Madiedo said Monday that he witnessed the refrigerator-sized meteor smashing into the Moon in what is believed to be the biggest such lunar impact ever recorded.
Britain's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) confirmed that Madiedo, a professor at the University of Huelva, observed the rare event on Sept. 11 last year.
"Observing impacts on the Moon gives astronomers an insight into the risk of similar (but larger) objects hitting the Earth. One of the conclusions of the Spanish team is that these metre sized objects may strike our planet about ten times as often as scientists previously thought," the society said in a statement announcing the finding.