However, it must be taken into account that this geocentric velocity must be corrected to find the correct impact velocity on the lunar surface. Thus, a correcting factor for the kinetic energy has to be applied, since the gravitational field of our planet gives rise to a larger impact velocity on Earth compared to the lunar case. For sporadic meteoroids, which can impact from random directions, this factor is around 1. Besides, by using an average bulk density for cometary meteoroids of 1. So, given that the size of the impactor is considerably higher than the largest meteoroids that caused the outburst of the SPE stream, and given that this outburst was more than one day earlier than our impact flash, we tend to think that a sporadic origin is perhaps more likely.
The derived sizes are small for ground-based observatories to identify them, but lunar orbiters can take images of the impact regions to recognize fresh craters and study them. The derived crater size is the largest for an impact flash ever reported, and if the crater is identified, the measurement of its diameter would allow us to give further constraints on the luminous efficiency, which is a poorly characterized parameter and is important to refine the impact flux on Earth.
In the following discussion about impact rates on the Earth, we have used energy rather than mass, since expressing impact rates as a function of the impactor mass would require a correct choice for the impact velocity.
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However, for impact rates given as a function of impactor energy, no critical assumptions about meteoroid velocity are necessary. According to the kinetic energy inferred for the impact flash discussed here, the impact rate on the whole Moon for fragments with an energy above This lunar impact rate can be translated into the corresponding terrestrial impact rate by scaling it according to the surface area of our planet about In addition, the previously mentioned correcting factor for the kinetic energy has to be also applied 1.
Thus, the impact energy of the lunar impact flash would be equivalent to an impact energy of The analysis of a Perseid lunar impact flash seems also to be inconsistent with a 0.
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Even though they do not provide an accurate figure of the upward increase that they found, they mention in the order of a factor 10 increase, which is coincident with our requirements. Cumulative number of impact events on Earth as a function of impact energy. The result derived from the impact flash analysed here is represented with a full black circle in this plot. The conclusions derived from this research are listed below.
With a peak brightness equivalent to mag 2. The energy released during the impact was of Two sources have been considered for the impactor. The identification of this crater in order to compare its actual size with the values obtained from our analysis could be a target for any current or future spacecraft orbiting the Moon. The actual size would help to constrain the luminous efficiency considerably, which is important for impact hazard computations.
Thus, a systematic monitoring of moon impact flashes but also of fireballs in the Earth's atmosphere would provide a more reliable impact frequency, especially if the luminous efficiency is well calibrated. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
FOMALHAUT b AS A CLOUD OF DUST: TESTING ASPECTS OF PLANET FORMATION THEORY
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