Impact on the Moon during the total lunar eclipse

An astroimager caught an amazing event on camera as our Moon turned blood red this January.
By | Published: January 23, 2019 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
January’s total lunar eclipse offered several treats: a blood-red Moon, and a meteorite strike on the lunar surface. Cooper took this image from Devil’s Dyke in West Sussex, England, using a Canon 6D attached to the prime focus of an 8 inch Newtonian telescope. The meteorite struck the surface at 03:41 U.T.
Jamie Cooper
Sunday night’s total lunar eclipse treated Americans to a special show as Earth’s shadow crossed the Full Moon’s face. And during the event, something unusual happened. Astroimager Jamie Cooper, from Dustin, England, caught an impact on the Moon. Such events were theory only two generations ago, but now are fact and somewhat commonplace to the discerning observer.

Today a simple video camera can capture meteorites impacting the Moon. Unlike meteorites hitting Earth, these objects are unimpeded because the Moon has no atmosphere. The energy of meteor strikes produce explosions on atomic scales. And the brilliant white light flashes associated with the impacts can often be seen from Earth. In fact, the impact Cooper recorded could have been seen through binoculars or a telescope by an observer looking at the right moment. Because such events are fleeting, however, we often dismiss them as figments of our imaginations.

To see more impacts, go to or check out this YouTube clip of the impact, looped several times to highlight the event, captured during David Brewer and Marc Dantonio’s lunar eclipse livestreams from Colorado and Connecticut:

via David Brewer and Marc Dantonio