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Did a rocket just hit the Moon?

On Friday the world did not stop and look up to see the effects of a rocket colliding with Earth's only natural satellite. But what do we know?

Did a rocket just hit the Moon?

Did you hear that? No? Come on, that was part of a rocket smashing into the Moon. Yes, our precious little Moon.

Well, I didn’t hear it either and that’s not really surprising given that Earth's forever friend (actually, ‘forever’ may not be entirely accurate but fine for a few more generations, at least) is some distance away, 238,900 miles to be a little more precise.

More from off this planet:

Rocket part smashes into Moon, we believe

So, despite ‘rocket hitting Moon’ sounding rather Hollywood-esque, the reality is that you didn’t have to be living on that satellite to have missed the story of impending not-muchness. Here’s a quick summary…

On Friday, around 12:30 pm GMT, 6:30 am ET, part of a rocket was scheduled to hit the far side of the Moon. That discarded rocket stage weighed in at about three tonnes and was expected to have a negligible effect, leaving a small crater around it and letting off a little plume of dust.

Who’s to blame for the rocket crash on the Moon?

Well, we don’t currently know for sure, and may never know. Some pointed to an Elon Musk slip, others to China’s space exploration team. The former has been ruled out; the latter denied. The truth is, this spare part is just one of more than 35,000 items of space junk floating about out there, and willing, often volunteer, astronomers have been tracking it for a number of years.

You can get much more detail on this event from these guys who know way more than me on the subject. And hopefully we’ll get confirmation in the coming days.


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