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A Real-Time Search for Interstellar Impacts on the Moon

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019

Amir Siraj, Abraham Loeb

(Submitted on 22 Aug 2019)

The discovery of `Oumuamua and CNEOS 2014-01-08 allowed for a calibration of the impact rate of interstellar objects. We propose a new telescope in lunar orbit to study in real-time interstellar meteoroid impacts and to serve as a laboratory for hypervelocity collisions. We show that a telescope with diameter D≳2m would be capable of detecting ≳1 interstellar meteoroid impacts (among hundreds of Solar System meteoroid impacts) per year. For each meteoroid, measurements of the reflected sunlight and shadow, as well as the impact's optical flash and crater, would allow for the determination of the 3D velocity, mass, density, and composition, as well as the radiative efficiency.

Comments: 4 pages, 3 figures; submitted for publication

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1908.08543 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1908.08543v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Amir Siraj 

[v1] Thu, 22 Aug 2019 18:00:01 UTC (1,048 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.08543


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