On 2013 September 11th, a meteor impacted the Moon leaving a 34-meter crater. So far the only info I've found was from youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCFDkj2JtyA) and this site: http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/posts/810

I'm surprised this doesn't have its own wikipedia article (none that I could find, anyway), and google wasn't helpful either. Is the astronomical world more or less oblivious to this event?

Anyway, the data I'm most interested in is the meteor's orbital trajectory. And also, why would such a small meteor leave a "fireball" for 8 seconds according to the youtube video.

  • $\begingroup$ small point, but reading the 2nd link, the article, it says it's about a 34 meter crater, which would work out to maybe a roughly 3 meter asteroid, give or take, maybe a bit bigger if it was a comet. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Jun 19, 2015 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ @userLTK thank i edited it along with an extra question. $\endgroup$
    – DrZ214
    Jun 19, 2015 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ As to the 8 seconds, think about what happens. I don't know how big it was, but lets say 3 meters - a 3 meter rock and/or ice is heavy and it was traveling at thousands of miles per hour, so when it hits, you have very high temperature generated from the shock-wave and and a 500 meter debris cloud. I'm not sure exactly what they saw, but it was likely some combination of localized extreme heat and debris flying. It would be interesting to see a bigger one. :-) $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Jun 19, 2015 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


Out of curiosity I looked into this a bit. North/South on the moon is pretty irrelevant for the objects orbit, but it struck at East 339 degrees (or West 21 degrees) near the Lubiniezky craters in the northwest part of Mare Nubium - which can be seen here - towards the center but a little bit in the south eastern part of the map.

enter image description here

and you can see the phase of the moon here. It changes slowly enough that a 24 hour range doesn't make a huge difference.


but apart from the crater looking roughly straight on, it's probably impossible to say the orbit it came from because the angle of approach is too big an unknown. It hit from kind of both the earth side and sun side direction, so it could have been a temporarily captured asteroid around the earth or a small comet or asteroid coming back from around the sun. Either could have made that impact I would think.


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