Meteorite impact on moon captured from Wales

X marks the spot where the meteorite hit the moon. Credit: Aberystwyth University

Space scientists at Aberystwyth University have reported what they believe to be the first confirmed sighting in the British Isles of a meteorite hitting the Moon.

A Lunar Impact Flash - a flash of light when something hits the Moon's surface - was recorded on the southern hemisphere of the Moon and probably caused by a small meteorite the size of a golf ball.

Lasting less that one tenth of a second, the image was caught on New Year’s Day 2017 on a remotely operated telescope at Aberystwyth University.

Scientists estimate the Moon is hit by similar sized meteorites as often as once every 10 to 20 hours.

However the impact flashes are so faint that they are only visible on the night side of the Moon using a telescope. A sighting can only be confirmed if it is seen from more than one location.

Dr Cook’s research focuses on erosion on the Moon, new craters forming and how dust moves around.

The work could prove invaluable if humans decide to colonize the Moon.