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Moon punched in the face by a meteorite

Published on Feb 26, 2014 7:40 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (REUTERS) - A meteorite as large as 1.5m in diameter smashed into the moon in September, producing the brightest flash of light ever seen from Earth, astronomers said this week.

Similarly sized objects pummel Earth daily, though most are destroyed as they plunge through the planet's atmosphere. National Aeronautics and Space Administration says about 100 tons of material from space enter Earth's atmosphere every day.

The moon, with no protective atmosphere, is fair game for celestial pot-shots. The evidence is all over its cratered face and is occasionally recorded by cameras on Earth.

Such was the case on Sept 11, 2013, when a pair of telescopes in Spain, which were automatically trolling for lunar meteorite impacts, hit pay-dirt with the longest, brightest flash ever observed on the moon.

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