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ISSN : 2093-5587(Print)
ISSN : 2093-1409(Online)
Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences Vol.32 No.2 pp.121-125

Detection of an Impact Flash Candidate on the Moon with an Educational Telescope System

Eunsol Kim,Yong Ha Kim,Ik-Seon Hong,Jaehyung Yu,Eungseok Lee,Kyoungja Kim


At the suggestion of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (NASA/MEO), which promotes lunar impact monitoring worldwide during NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission period (launched Sept. 2013), we set up a video observation system for lunar impact flashes using a 16-inch educational telescope at Chungnam National University. From Oct. 2013 through Apr. 2014, we recorded 80 hours of video observation of the unilluminated part of the crescent moon in the evening hours. We found a plausible candidate impact flash on Feb. 3, 2014 at selenographic longitude 2.1° and latitude 25.4°. The flash lasted for 0.2 s and the light curve was asymmetric with a slow decrease after a peak brightness of 8.7 ± 0.3 mag. Based on a star-like distribution of pixel brightness and asymmetric light curve, we conclude that the observed flash was due to a meteoroid impact on the lunar surface. Since unequivocal detection of an impact flash requires simultaneous observation from at least two sites, we strongly recommend that other institutes and universities in Korea set up similar inexpensive monitoring systems involving educational or amateur telescopes, and that they collaborate in the near future.