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Scientists Say A Meteor Collided With The Wolf Moon On Monday

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Scientists Say A Meteor Collided With The Wolf Moon On Monday

As the lunar eclipse approached this week, people were being warned that the lunar event was going to spark the end of the world, cause emotions to run wild or affect wildlife.

Sadly for conspiracy theorists, the event passed without much issue...or so we thought.

The eclipse was important because it was one of the few that coincided with a supermoon, turning our closest celestial object a stunning shade of red. But as scientists watched it play out on our night's sky, they noticed something peculiar.

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Griffith Observatory pointed out that a meteor collided with the moon.

Dr Jose Maria Madiedo, from the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System told IFLScience: "I can confirm that the flash was produced by a meteoroid that hit the lunar ground.

"The event was recorded by several of our telescopes in the framework of MIDAS."

That's the Missile Defense Alarm System the US Government deployed during the Cold War to notify authorities in case the Soviets decided to launch a couple of bombs their way.

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Astronomer Jose Madiedo added to Gizmodo that it would have been a 'blink and you'll miss it' moment if it weren't for those detection systems.

"In total I spent almost two days without sleeping, including the monitoring time during the eclipse," he said.

Here's cool shot from a landscape park in Duisburg, Germany. Credit: PA
Here's cool shot from a landscape park in Duisburg, Germany. Credit: PA

"I was exhausted when the eclipse ended-but when the automatic detection software notified me of a bright flash, I jumped out of my chair. It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before."

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Thankfully for our moon, the meteorite wasn't large enough to inflict any major damage.

If you're still trying to work out why the moon was red the other day, let the experts explain.

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As Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University in New York state, explained to the BBC: "A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth.

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"This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it."

Why it is referred to as a blood moon is pretty obvious though; it's the super wolf-ness which is a little harder to decipher.

Well, super comes from the fact the moon is unusually close to us, making it appear bigger. Meanwhile, a full moon in January in Native American folklore is known as a 'wolf moon', so basically the wolf's been hijacked too to make the Moon sound like a badass.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Interesting, Community, Blood Moon

Stewart Perrie
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