Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 115, Issue 1–4, pp 1–21

First Lunar Flashes Observed from Morocco (ILIAD Network): Implications for Lunar Seismology

  • Mamoun Ait Moulay Larbi
  • Ahmed Daassou
  • David Baratoux
  • Sylvain Bouley
  • Zouhair Benkhaldoun
  • Mohamed Lazrek
  • Raphael Garcia
  • Francois Colas
Article

Abstract

We report the detection of two transient luminous events recorded on the lunar surface on February 6, 2013, at 06:29:56.7 UT and April 14, 2013, 20:00:45.4 from the Atlas Golf Marrakech observatory in Morocco. Estimated visual magnitudes are 9.4 ± 0.2 and 7.7 ± 0.2. We show that these events have the typical characteristics of impact flashes generated by meteoroids impacting the lunar surface, despite proof using two different telescopes is not available. Assuming these events were lunar impact flashes, meteoroid masses are 0.3 ± 0.05 and 1.8 ± 0.3 kg, corresponding to diameters of 7–8 and 14–15 cm for a density of 1500 kg m−3. The meteoroids would have produced craters of about 2.6 ± 0.3 and 4.4 ± 0.3 m in diameter. We then present a method based on the identification of lunar features illuminated by the Earthshine to determine the position of the flash. The method does not require any information about the observation geometry or lunar configuration. The coordinates are respectively 08.15° ± 0.15°S 59.1° ± 0.15°E and 26.81° ± 0.15°N 09.10° ± 0.15°W. Further improvement on the determination of the flash position is necessary for seismological applications. This studies demonstrates that permanent lunar impact flashes observation programs may be run in different parts of the globe using mid-sized telescopes. We call for the development of an international lunar impact astronomical detection networks that would represent an opportunity for scientific and cultural developments in countries where astronomy is under-represented.

Keywords

Meteoroids Impact flash Crater Moon 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mamoun Ait Moulay Larbi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmed Daassou
    • 1
  • David Baratoux
    • 2
  • Sylvain Bouley
    • 3
    • 4
  • Zouhair Benkhaldoun
    • 1
  • Mohamed Lazrek
    • 1
  • Raphael Garcia
    • 5
  • Francois Colas
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique des Hautes Energies et Astrophysique, FSSMUniversité Cadi AyyadMarrakechMarocco
  2. 2.UPS-OMP, GETUniversité de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  3. 3.GEOPS, UMR8148Université Paris-SudOrsay CedexFrance
  4. 4.Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des EphéméridesObservatoire de ParisParisFrance
  5. 5.Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE)ToulouseFrance

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