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NASA says the brightest moon explosion ever recorded was caused by a meteorite slamming into the lunar surface at 56,000 mph.
A huge meteorite slammed into the moon's surface at a mind-boggling 56,000 mph in March, sparking the largest lunar explosion ever recorded, NASA said Friday.
The explosion on March 17 was the biggest seen since NASA began watching the moon for meteoroid impacts about eight years ago, according to Reuters.
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So far, more than 300 strikes have been recorded.
The March blast lasted just one second but was as bright as a 4th magnitude star—so bright it could be seen with the naked eye.
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Scientists estimate the rock was about 1 foot wide and weighed about 88 pounds.The explosion it created was as powerful as 5 tons of TNT, UPI reported.
The impact carved a 65-foot-wide crater into the moon.
"It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before," Bill Cooke, with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said in a statement.