For the last 8 years, astronomers at NASA have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. On March 17, a meteoroid which was roughly the size of a small boulder crashed into the moon. According to NASA, that crash was the largest Moon explosion ever seen on the Moon till now.
The weight of that meteoroid was 40 kg (90 pounds) and it was 0.3 to 0.4 meters wide. The meteoroid’s speed was 56,000 mph when it hit the Moon. The explosion that occurred was equivalent to 5 tons of TNT blast. This means Earth and the Moon were pelted by meteoroids at about the same time.
According to NASA, “the impact site was glowing like a 4th magnitude star” and many people could have seen the Moon explosion at the moment of impact from the Earth bare eyes for just a second.
Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said, “On the night of March 17, NASA and University of Western Ontario all-sky cameras picked up an unusual number of deep-penetrating meteors right here on Earth. These fireballs were traveling along nearly identical orbits between Earth and the asteroid belt… an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium. It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Ron Suggs, an analyst at the Marshall Space Flight Center, was the first to notice the impact in a digital video. Here it is.