Have any cameras on the moon's surface directly observed micrometeoroid (or larger!) impacts? Presumably small craters form when impacts occur and information could be gleaned from observing the ejecta and size and shape of the resulting craters. A camera could easily observe a much larger area than that of a spacecraft so would see many more impacts than vibration sensors on the craft itself would detect.

If there have not been cameras operating for long enough to observe any impacts are any future moon missions planned which might do so? Or has the LRO actually observed any, presumably much larger, impacts?


1 Answer 1


Yes, they have been observed many times. The NELIOTA project is dedicated to observing meteorite impacts on the Moon by means of Earth-based observations of the night side through a 1.2 m diameter telescope located in Greece. All the recorded impacts (there are more than 150) can be found at:

Near-Earth object Lunar Impacts and Optical TrAnsients, (NELIOTA archive)

Another project dedicated to observing meteorite impacts on the Moon is:

MIDAS, (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System)

During the total lunar eclipse of 21 January 2019 many amateur astronomers around the world recorded an impact:

About this impact during the eclipse, you may find it useful to consult:

Multiwavelength observations of a bright impact flash during the January 2019 total lunar eclipse

Location, orbit and energy of a meteoroid impacting the moon during the Lunar Eclipse of January 21, 2019

This other video explains the impact on the Moon on 11 September 2013

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has discovered new meteor craters on the Moon, see for example:

Four different NAC images of crater (18 meter diameter) formed on the Moon, 17 March 2013

Best regards.

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    $\begingroup$ Of course, these were not micrometeoroids. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Commented May 27 at 16:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That certainly covers the "or larger" part of my question but I'm confidant that earth based observations cannot see the vast majority of impacts, many of which would be hazardous to moon based infrastructure. Thanks for the useful links in your reply. $\endgroup$
    – Ken Mercer
    Commented May 27 at 20:34

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