The remnants of a rocket hit the moon, but now we must locate the crater

A cylindrical object collided with Earth’s natural satellite, according to the astronomer’s calculations. It remains to determine the location of the hole.

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The moon now has another crater. A rocket stage dormant for years crashed into its far side on Friday, March 4. But this event cannot be directly observed, experts say, and we will have to wait a little longer for evidence in the pictures. The cylindrical body, darkening at a speed of more than 9000 km / h, must have drilled a hole “Diameter from 10 to 20 meters”According to astronomer Bill Gray, the first to identify the upcoming collision.

Its trajectory was calculated using observations made by telescopes on Earth. “We have a lot of data about this object.”stressed Bill Gray. “Unless it is pulled by an evil hand, the moon has hit this morning.” The identification of the rocket in question has been discussed, as no one is officially responsible for listing and tracking space waste in deep space. Bill Gray created a program to be used by NASA-funded observational programs. It monitors space junk so that it is not confused with asteroids, and thus is unnecessarily studied.

“Let’s be very frank, we don’t even know if it’s a missile piece, However estimated on franceinfo Christophe Bonal, an expert at the National Center for Space Studies (Cnes). It’s an object 2.50 meters high and 360,000 kilometers away, and it’s really nice to be able to follow it. The crater can only be observed by NASA’s LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) probe, or Indian Chandrayaan-2, both of which are in orbit around this star. At the end of January, the US space agency had already announced its intention to find the future crater, while warning That the process may take “weeks”. According to Bill Gray, the two probes can observe any lunar region once a month.

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It is not unusual for rocket stages in the universe to be abandoned after paying for what they were launched for. But this is the first time such an unintended collision with the Moon has been identified. On the other hand, rocket stages have already been launched on the Moon for scientific purposes in the past, such as the Apollo flights. The study of the crater that formed and the material that was moved could lead to the development of geoscience, the scientific study of the moon.

Stan Shaw

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