Footage of the brightest lunar explosion ever witnessed was released today, showing what happens when an 880 pound boulder crashes into the lunar surface at 37,900 mph.
University of Huelva professor Jose Madiedo was looking at the moon through two telescopes that are part of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System in the south of Spain when he saw the explosion. "At that moment I realized that I had seen a very rare and extraordinary event," he said in a statement. According to Space.com, the explosion -- which was visible to the naked eye around 8:07 p.m. GMT on September 11, 2013 -- was about as powerful as 15-ton explosion of TNT. The crash carved out a new 65-foot-wide crater on the moon's surface. The event was by far the largest one recorded since NASA began a lunar impact-monitoring program in 2005, according to Space.com.
University of Huelva scientists published their research in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on Sunday, and the accompanying video today.
Below, see a more in-depth account of the epic crash.