Brian Cudnik 
Coordinator

PVAMU Department of Physics

P.O. Box 519, MS 2230

Prairie View, Texas 77446
mailto:cudnik@sbcglobal.net


This program is designed to standardize and coordinate amateur observations of potential meteor impacts on the Moon. This field has exciting possibilities but only if the observations are done in a uniform manner and pooled to look for confirmations of positive observations. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Coordinator above for further information. The Coordinator maintains an "Impact" e-mailing list of regular participants, e-mail him if you would like to be added to the list. Click here to read the full mission statement.


What's New (09/10/08)?

Lunar Impact Alert Notice

 

Classic Impact Alert Notices and Updates

Upcoming Observing Opportunities

Lunar Impact Plots (1999-2006) by Peter Gural

 

Links to Lunar Impact Information

 


Lunar Impact Alert Notice!

The Latest Impact Observations!

So far, I have received reports of 5 Lunar Perseid impact candidates, all made on 9 August 2008UT.  As the Perseid shower winds down, I want to bring to your attention some impact candidates that were recorded last week. We saw some moon-based activity early on, with two bright candidates and two secondary candidates being recorded on August 9UT. Robert Spellman recorded a bright impact at 4:06:22UT, which can be seen at this site: http://www.angelfire.com/space2/robertspellman/observationarchive.html. George Varros recorded a bright impact at 2:27:04UT, whose image appears here: http://www.lunarimpacts.com/ 022704_candidate .jpg. He also reports two additional (though not definite, yet) candidates at 1:59:46 and 2:18:18. If anyone was observing the moon during these times, please check your recordings for these impacts. You can look at the above images to find out where they occurred.

Four impact candidates from the Quadrantid stream have been published online by the NASA/MSFC group, including one event lasting 10 video frames. This long event took place at 11:42:39UT, 4 January 2008, so observers are asked to check tapes for this event. Three fainter events, each lasting 1 to 2 frames, but observed through 2 or 3 telescopes simultaneously, also have been reported. I also have a report of up to 10 Geminid impact candidates, several confirmed already, observed in Japan during the December annual shower. Images of several of these events are provided on the web page: http://www.yanagi.ice.uec.ac.jp/luna_e.html. Observers who recorded the Moon during the recent Geminid opportunity are asked to check their tapes and records for signs of impacts.

NASA-MSFC effort now has 113 impact candidates (as of August 8, 2008). The dates, times, selenographic coordinates, and source (sporadic or shower) are included in the table on their home page (link below). Observers are encouraged to carefully check their videotapes near these dates/times for corroborating impact signatures. Please visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/index.html for information on these impact candidates. The number of impacts recorded by this group serves as a reminder that these events are happening on a regular basis and is a motivator for individuals to keep up the observations in support of this and lunar meteor work in general. The locations of the candidates on the lunar surface can be viewed on the above link.

Mr. George Varros reports the observations of impact candidates, from the Orionid and Geminid meteor showers, and each remains to be confirmed.  If anyone happened to be observing / videotaping the moon at the times listed below, please check your records / tapes for one or more of these events. In addition, Mr. Varros requests the assistance of another individual or individuals in the Eastern U.S. to videotape the moon concurrently with him to increase the likelihood of confirmation of impact events. The information concerning the impact candidates follow:

Images of the following impact event candidates can be seen at    http://www.gvarros. com/
10/20/2007
23:17:03UT #a21 2 frames 3 fields bright
23:23:48UT #b4 2 fields not that bright
23:43:14UT #d3 3 fields

10/21/2007
00:47:53UT #e58 3  video fields
01:03:05UT #f37 1 frame

02:52:46UT duration = 2 video fields Image

03:41:23UT one video field only
03:48:12 #i3 2 fields

 

12/15/2007

00:45:51UT - 2 It is one frame in duration and both odd and even field are similar in brightness.

12/18/2007

00:38:31.107UT 2 frames, 3 fields, bright
01:08:41UT 1 1 frame, 2 fields, very dim
02:13:47UT 1 1 frame, 2 fields, suspect cosmic ray due to anti-aliasing of the even video field

LunarScan 1.3 by Peter Gural now Available!

The long-awaited automated detection software is ready for download. Go to http://www.gvarros.com/lunarscan.zip to download a copy. The software is free under the condition that you provide impact flash observations (date/time/location) to NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the e-mail address listed under "Contact Us" at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/index.html.

Lunar Meteor Impacts and How to Observe Them

I plan to submit the manuscript to Springer by October 5 (I am waiting on the last of the permission request responses and need more time to prepare the final materials for submission).  This will be part of a series of Practical Astronomy books (there is already a book out entitled “The Moon and How to Observe It”. If Dr. Schmude’s book, “Remote Planets and How to Observe Them”, published on July 31, 2008, is any indication as to the timeline of publication, and if all goes according to plan, then the book should be published by the early part of the summer of 2009. I will keep you informed as the project progresses.

Opportunities to Observer Lunar Meteor Impacts

Observers are also requested to monitor the moon for up to 10 nights per month in support of the NASA-MSFC effort to regularly patrol the moon, from a waxing crescent of 10% illumination to the first quarter (55% illuminated) phase and again from last quarter to near new moon.  The Moon will next be well placed in the evening sky from 12 December to 18 December, in time for the Geminid meteor shower. Systematic, careful observations will help to shore up the validity of any impact candidates the NASA team captures (Currently they have 74 impact candidates, two of which were independent confirmations by outside individuals). Current estimates predict up to 260 impacts per month of objects of 1 kg or greater on the lunar surface, many of which can be captured with ground-based equipment. Thus, it is important to observe the moon as much as possible in order to refine these estimates, which will become even more useful when NASA sends astronauts back to the moon no later than 2020. The LMIS is coordinating monthly campaigns for the remainder of 2007 on into 2008. The dates of each campaign, both routine and related to annual meteor showers, are now posted here. Dates for 2008 will be posted soon.


Definitions to Describe Quality of Lunar Meteor Observations

    In order to better qualify the probability of an observation being genuinely impact in nature, we have adopted a definitive classification scheme.  The descriptors are given below

  • Confirmed Observation: Those impacts observed by at least two independent observers separated by at least 50 km (30 mi) within 2 degrees of latitude and longitude on the moon and 2 seconds of time (99% confidence).
  • Tentatively Confirmed Observation: Those impacts observed by at least two independent observers separated by less than 50 km (30 mi) within 5 degrees of longitude and 5 seconds of time (95% confidence).
  • Probable: Those impacts observed by a single observer having the characteristics of an impact observation--appearing on two or more video frames, a measurable point-spread-function (i.e. appearing similar to a star), and/or confidence at least 80%.
  • Candidate: Any impact observation submitted by a single observer with a confidence of at least 50%.

With these criteria in place, we can better group observations in terms of quality and estimate the likelihood of the observation being that of an actual impact event.  It is very possible that a candidate could be elevated to the status of "confirmed" with the corroborative observation of a second independent observer, as stated in the qualifications above.


Lunar Impact Plots

Included are the plots made for meteor showers with ZHR's greater than 10 that occur when the Moon is favorably placed for the observation of impact flashes from Earth.  In addition to the plots for 2005 and 2006, plots for 1999 to 2004 are also included for archival purposes.  Click on the following link for impact plots showing when the Moon will be favorably placed to observe possible lunar meteor impacts on its surface from annual meteor showers.  Only when at least some of the dark side of the Moon is presented to the Earth, and the terrestrial ZHR of the shower exceeds 15, is the plot for that particular shower (terrestrial) maximum provided.  Many thanks to Peter Gural of Science Applications International Corporation for providing these impact plots. Also note that the LunarScan program is capable of producing lunar impact plots for any shower and any lunar phase; interested parties are encouraged to refer to the documentation that goes with the program for more information.

Lunar Impact Plots--Archives

1999-2002

2003

2004

2005

 2006

Lunar Impact Plots--Current Observable Events

 2005-2061 for 7 major annual showers



Lunar Impact Information

About the Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search Program, Observing Resources, Information, and Guidelines

Mission Statement, General Purpose, and Goals

A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors I:  General

A Guide to Observing Lunar Meteors II: Video

Lunar Impact Plots for Upcoming Meteor Showers

Archived Lunar Meteor Alerts

Lunar Meteor Observation Report Forms

  A.L.P.O. Lunar Meteoritic Impacts Search Report Form (LMIS-RF) #1

  A.L.P.O. LMIS-RF #2

  A.L.P.O._LMIS-RF #3

Instructions and Tips on How to Fill out the Report Forms

Lunar Impact Links

General Information and Historical Observations

Worthy of Resurrection: Two past ALPO Lunar Projects

 History of Lunar Impacts

 

Lunar Leonids 2001

Robert McNaught's predictions of the Moon's Encounters with Dust Trails (1997-2006)

Predictions for Lunar Leonid Impacts

 

Lunar Leonids 2000

Click here to learn how people were watching for meteor hits during the 2000 Leonid event

November 2000 Lunar Leonid Prospects & Information

 

Lunar Leonids 1999

Leonid flashers...on the Moon (before the Storm)

Observing Leonids on the Moon (before the Storm)

A Leonid on the Moon? (First News of Possible Impact Sightings)

Nov.18th Lunar-Leonid Impacts

 

ALPO meteor links

The ALPO meteor section

Meteor Showers for 2007

 

Recent Observations

GLR Lunar Section Impact Reports


Return to ALPO Homepage