Lunar Impact Observation Programs

  • Brian Cudnik
Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)


As discussed in the Introduction, the Leonid meteor shower of 18 November 1999 produced the first independently confirmed observations and recordings of meteor impacts on the Moon. A number of attempts have been made previously to observe and document lunar meteor impacts, but none have produced scientifically confirmed observations from two or more widely separate (more than a few tens of kilometers or miles) locations. Some of these efforts have met with some success, with a number of probable events recorded. The uncertain and unpredictable nature of this phenomenon, along with insufficient camera sensitivity to record all but the largest events and the difficulty of visually locating very short flashes in the midst of hours of data, has led to its very limited success. With new technologies and techniques, the question has shifted from “Does it happen?” to “How Many?” and “How Big?” The program that follows observations of lunar meteor impacts is characterized by long periods of little activity, punctuated by very brief flashes or clusters of activity.


Lunar Surface Meteor Shower Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Meteor Impact Amateur Astronomer 
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  1. 24.
  2. 25., and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology, Kenneth Gatland, Orion Books, 1989, both of which lists not only these but all spacecraft that have been sent, or attempted to be sent, to the Moon.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Cudnik
    • 1
  1. 1.HoustonUSA

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