Pieces of Comet Halley Strike the Moon!

Three meteoroids were seen hitting the moon last week — all of them possible pieces of Comet Halley! The Eta Aquariid — the meteor shower caused from Comet Halley, see post below — radiant was positioned so that almost the entire visible part of the moon was exposed to it. On the evenings of May 9-11, members of the Meteoroid Environment Office were out doing lunar observations and a meteoroid impact was seen each night.

The peak of the Eta Aquariids was the morning of May 5, but the rate is still high and meteors associated with this shower were still seen last week in multiple cameras over Alabama and surrounding states.

The following images are stills from the videos recorded those evenings; the impacts are seen on the dark portion of the moon.

May 9:


May 10:


May 11:


The movie below is the meteoroid impact from May 11 and after taking into account the brightness of the flash and the large amount of glare from the moon, this is one of the largest impacts we have seen to date!

To find out more about The Meteoroid Environment Office’s Lunar Impact program: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/index.html

Credit: Rhiannon Blaauw, NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office