back to article Massive EXPLOSION visible to naked eye SEEN ON MOON

Sensational news today from the Moon, as skywatchers say a huge explosion - as bright as a star, and visible from Earth with the naked eye - has been seen on the lunar surface. "It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before," splutters Bill Cooke, a top NASA boffin. According to NASA, …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    "Yes, Manny. We can throw rocks."

  2. Steve Todd
    Thumb Up

    Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    Have an upvote for the RAH reference

  3. John G Imrie Silver badge

    Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    I was thinking more along the lines of 'A Fall of Moon Dust'

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    Mmmmmm NASA maffs and sients.

    "NASA calculations indicate that a meteoroid probably around 0.4 metres across and massing 40kg-odd barrelled into the lunar regolith going at around 56 thousand mph."

    Yes sirrreeee - that was a Oh - dot - oh - four all rightey.... same as a 50 cal, only rounder.

    56 thousand miles per hour? x 1.6 = ~90,000Kmh or 24Km a second....

    Damn was that hard? No not really. I am not from NASA.

    My main 2c worth is that if the average speed of meteors are coming in at about 5 Km a second, and this one is about 5 x as fast....

    What are we going to do with the ones that come in at us at that speed... or fastera?

    And the biggerestust ones too....

    Ommmmmm ohh ahhh....

    As the bomb said to the crew, "I think. Therefore I am. Let there be light."

    This is the image I came across ages ago... but that one had the caption, "Houston? What the fu......?"

  5. vonRat

    Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    Sgt Pinback: "Alright bomb, prepare to receive new orders."

    Bomb 20: "You are false data"

    Sgt Pinback: "Hmmmm?"

    Bomb 20: "Therefore I shall ignore you."

    Sgt Pinback: "Hello bomb?"

    Bomb 20: "False data can act only as a distraction, therefore I shall refuse to perceive you."

    Sgt Pinback: "Hey, bomb!"

    Bomb 20: "The only thing that exists is myself."

    Sgt Pinback: "Snap out of it, bomb."

    Bomb 20: "In the beginning, there was darkness and the darkness was without form, and void.

    Sgt Pinback: "What the hell are you talking about?"

    Bomb 20: "And in addition to the darkness there was also me, and I moved upon the face of the darkness, and I saw that I was alone."

    Sgt Pinback: "Hey....bomb?"

    Bomb 20: "Let there be light"

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    I recommend that we surround the entire planet with several miles of protective gas which will convert the meteor's energy into heat and dissipate it safely.

    We should also arrange that large areas of land in big countries along an east-west axis are mostly uninhabited or filled with people we don't really care about.

  7. Thesheep

    NASA computers...

    ...still seem to be using a terrible greenscreen UI, with an annoying typewriter animation. Perhaps they could use some of their budget to buy something a bit less 1980s?

  8. Dave 62

    Re: NASA computers...

    what budget?

    oh the meagre budget that pales next to defence spending which they use to PUT ROBOTS ON ANOTHER PLANET? I have an idea, they could have custom made NASA staplers and other random pointless shit not necessary for being fucking awesome.

    Although it could be that green screen and type-writer animation has been so engrained in the public conciousness as the look of spaaaace that they now perpetuate that because it simply looks right to them.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: NASA computers...

    Appears they blew the budget on Windows XP.

  10. illiad

    Re: NASA computers...

    maybe, but no crashes or reboots needed for decades.... :) :)

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    So what? Dimwits also install Linux, as evidenced by you.

  13. VinceH Silver badge

    Re: NASA computers...

    "Perhaps they could use some of their budget to buy something a bit less 1980s?"

    Listening to the voice-over on the video, I think they blew their budget on trying to synthesise a woman's voice.

  14. wowfood

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    More dimwits install windows. This is FACT

    Fact based on the fact that 1 in 10 are dimwits.

    Windows 7 has sold over 600 million licenses (allegedly)

    Vs around 60 million linux insallations (based on the linux calculator)

    If we infer that 1 in 10 people are dimwits, that means 60 million dimwits have installed windows, vs the 6mil who have insalled linux. Or if we warp figures. The number of dimwits who have installed windows is greater than the number of people, dimwit or not, who have installed linux.

    Ergo, based entirely on fact, more dimwits install windows than linux.

    Eadon can thank me later :P

  15. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    It's also a bit, not a fact at all (capital letters notwithstanding). NASA use a range of OS's depending on the required function. WinXP PCs on the ground, OSX on telemetry equipment, MacOS on *most* of the laptops in use (all of those in space are MacOS) and Ubuntu on on-board PCs. There are more OSX machines in use by NASA than any other OS.

    A simple google search revealed this information fairly readily.

  16. Rampant Spaniel

    Re: NASA computers...

    If they still do the job why change? I did a stink at a county council in the 90's (some networking mostly) and their data suite still had reel to reel tape drives (sat by a wolfcreek, I guess for now and then value), kilostreams and various piles of dust with aging servers under them, it looked like it was straight from buck rodgers. They worked so nobody changed them.

    Often because a change of hardware meant new software and most of it was bespoke. I learnt a lot about sane budgeting from the last place I ever expected to find it. It cost considerably less to keep a few coders well versed in cobol etc then it did to build a new system which would in all likeliness overrun, be over budget and break frequently.

  17. frank ly Silver badge

    Re: NASA computers...

    I now have an image in my mind, of a rampant spaniel doing a stink. It will take time to fade away.

  18. Rampant Spaniel

    Re: NASA computers...

    And this is why I hate touchscreen keyboards lol!

  19. t.est
    Paris Hilton

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    yeah, while that light emitting fruit shines up the background... just an empirical fact...

  20. t.est

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    Probably because they used NeXT Step and Open Step before that, that is before Linux even where around to play golf.

  21. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux

    "Linux laptops etc are on the Space Station."

    Given the low gravity environment, it'll be one of the light-weight distros.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: NASA computers... space station uses Linux @wowfood 09:53

    Eadon is unlikely to thank you, I'm afraid. You've considered the possibility that someone who installs Linux might be a dimwit. I think Eadon would have it that anyone who installs Linux is smart by implication. Probably because he claims he uses it himself. Of course, as pointed out by someone else, there is one glaring (in both senses,) dimwit who's apparently using Linux :)

  23. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Re: NASA computers...

    ...and what's with the awful robotic commentary?

  24. Tim99 Silver badge

    Non-American history Lewis?

    [According to NASA, the mighty blast briefly "glowed like a 4th magnitude star ... the explosion packed as much punch as 5 tons of TNT". For comparison that's twice as much explosive as one would find in a US Air Force nuclear-bunker-busting MOP superbomb]

    Or, alternatively, a bit less explosive power than a 1945 British "Grand Slam" bomb (6.5 tons TNT equivalent).

    Cf: The 1944 "Tallboy" bomb - 3.5 tons TNT equivalent; and the 1943 "Upkeep" bouncing bomb - 4.4 tons TNT equivalent. All of which were carried by modified Avro Lancaster bombers. A Grand Slam weighed 10 tons - Normal Lancasters could carry 6-7 tons of bombs. This compares to the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress which could only carry about 2 tons of bombs over a similar range. The later Boeing B-29 Superfortress with a crew of 10 could carry ~9 tons.

    An interesting paper exercise after WWII compared the performance of these heavy bombers with the 2 crew, smaller, wood/composite construction de Havilland Mosquito which could carry nearly 2 tons of bombs at a speed about 1.5 times faster than a Lancaster (The Lancaster had a normal crew of 7).

  25. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Re: Non-American history Lewis?

    I quite like the MOP's ancestor, the "Disney Bomb" ( 4500 lb Concrete Piercing/Rocket Assisted bomb ).

  26. Chris Miller

    As a 20-year -old during WW2, Freeman Dyson worked at Bomber Command performing statistical analysis of the results of bomber raids. He and a colleague recommended removing the gun turrets, which were largely ineffective at shooting down enemy fighters. This would have allowed Lancasters to fly 50 mph faster and reduced casualties simply because there would be fewer crew in each bomber. He commented:

    All our advice to the commander in chief [went] through the chief of our section, who was a career civil servant. His guiding principle was to tell the commander in chief things that the commander in chief liked to hear… To push the idea of ripping out gun turrets, against the official mythology of the gallant gunner defending his crew mates…was not the kind of suggestion the commander in chief liked to hear.

    "The Children's Crusade" in Disturbing the Universe, 1979

  27. Michael Dunn
    Thumb Up

    Re: Non-American history Lewis? Mosquito

    The very best plane ever made!

  28. graeme leggett Silver badge

    On the other hand, some of Harris's and his staff's prejudices may have had a grounding in the psychology of the crew and other issues.

    British Commonwealth aircrew trained together en masse and generally formed themselves into cohesive and supportive crews that could work together before becoming operational.

    The tail end Charlie was a useful lookout if not a potent aggressive defence. If they got wind of a fighter, then the pilot could push the bomber into a corkscrew which it could pull better than the German fighter.

    Thirdly some projects were considered more effort than they were worth. A number of British bomber designs which would have been more effective than the Lancaster and Halifax were shelved because they wouldn't be ready before the end of the war. ( Vickers, Bristol and Avro were coming up with designs of around 100 tons all up carrying 25 tons of bombs and with 20mm cannon in turrets for defence).

    according to Buttler "British Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers 1935-1950"

  29. Darryl
    Paris Hilton

    I'm confused. How did we get the Lancaster to the moon again?

  30. Tim99 Silver badge



    We don't need to get a Lancaster on the moon - As any fule kno - Picture Link

    Although getting the bomb there might be a problem...

  31. Darryl
    Thumb Up

    Re: Lancaster

    How could I have forgotten that?

    Old age sucks

  32. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Don't look!

    I can't believe that looking at the video actually RUINED the story for me. Talk about a disappointment!

  33. hplasm Silver badge

    The future, as usual, is disappointing...

    Space1999- 14 years late and woefully underfunded, was a failure.

  34. Kharkov

    Re: The future, as usual, is disappointing...

    Yeah, but aren't those Eagles worth waiting for?

    By the by, Space 1999 was one of those vanishingly rare shows where the vehicles LOOKED right...

  35. Martin Budden
    Thumb Up

    Re: The future, as usual, is disappointing...

    Yes the Eagles looked totally awesome!

    (They didn't quite look "right" though because of the lack of sizeable fuel tanks. But I'm happy to forgive this minor point.)

  36. Gabor Laszlo

    SI nitpick

    What bugged me about the NASA video was: 0.4 METRES across and massing 40KG-odd barrelled into the lunar regolith going at around 56 thousand MPH.

    Notice anything?

  37. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  38. tomban

    Re: SI nitpick

    The meteoroid should have been measured in linguine?

  39. Death_Ninja

    Re: SI nitpick


    I'm just dissapointed to not see NASA using proper size measurements, I mean, this is 100th of the size of a small family car or maybe the size of a domestic cat and it was travelling 1000 times faster than a chaved up Vauxhall Nova.

    THATS science NASA!

    BTW, I was massively dissapointed with "huge explosion", 5 tons of TNT is pretty small and the video was truly meh

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: SI nitpick

    the video was truly meh

    Try zooming in :)

  41. Don Jefe

    Re: SI nitpick

    The explosion was visible ~250,000 miles away with the naked eye. I'm not sure what you consider impressive. Maybe the wackos are correct and video games are altering the perceptions of youth...

  42. Death_Ninja

    Re: SI nitpick


  43. t.est

    Re: SI nitpick

    Nah that's just some small pocket firecrackers.

  44. Rattus Rattus

    Re: SI nitpick

    Yep, that was what first got my attention. NASA should know better than to mix units like that. Even if they couldn't just go all-SI for some reason, then they should at least have stuck to all-Imperial. A mix of Imperial and SI does nobody any favours.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Notice anything?

    Yeah, one of those measurements I have down cold, another one I can reasonably approximate, but I have no frelling clue about the middle one.

  46. Phil W Silver badge

    Ask John Koenig what happened

    Since this was presumably Moon Base Alpha, we better prepare to be moonless.

  47. Mike Goodwin

    <checks date>

    Hmm. No, not 1st April.

  48. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    56000 mph

    That's about M73.

    The good news is something that small hitting Earth's atmosphere would probably have burnt up long before it hit the ground.

  49. John Robson Silver badge

    Re: 56000 mph

    And does, regularly.

    The earth is somewhat a larger target than the moon. It gets hit significantly more often...

    Air - it's more important than just breathing...

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe, just maybe

    It's Lewis' family coming to take him back to the planet of Wibble, in the solar system of Gibber. Keep the tinfoil hats on just in case.


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