Fresh crater found on lunar images

6:07pm, December 16, 2002

From San Francisco, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Scientists analyzing images of the moon's surface taken from lunar orbit believe they've identified the crater that formed when a small asteroid slammed into the moon almost 5 decades ago.

Early in the evening of Nov. 14, 1953, an amateur astronomer in Oklahoma observed and photographed a bright flash–believed to be the impact of an extraterrestrial object–on the moon's surface. Although the camera's exposure was set for 0.5 second, the flash probably lasted about 1 s, says Bonnie J. Buratti, a planetary astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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