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News Detect/Track Characterize Observe/Recover Participants

eye Report visual accounts of fireball sighting here.

Past projects:
Chatham Islands Fireball
2014 AA
Chelyabinsk airburst
Novato fall
Sutter's Mill fall
2008 TC3

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Large asteroid impacts:

Mission statement - Help coordinate the rapid response to announced small asteroid impacts, such as asteroid 2008 TC3, with the goal to study the asteroid breakup during entry and further the pristine recovery of surviving meteorites for analysis. [Contact]


The following projects to observe the asteroid impact and characterize the debris are envisioned in the consortium:

Airborne Observing Campaign - By deploying a pre-existing set of cameras onboard a chartered or privately owned business jet, we hope to observe the reentry of a small asteroid in great detail to study the manner in which it breaks and the physical conditions during the impact. This information will assist planetary defense against larger asteroid impact studies. Similar previous airborne observing campaigns studied meteor showers and the destructive entry of spacecraft.

Pristine recovery of meteorites - Local researchers are supported in their efforts to recover surviving meteorites from the impacting asteroid. Goal is to investigate the circumstances of the impact from deliberate and serendipitous ground-based observations and recover meteorites in as pristine a condition as possible before rain hits the area. The meteorites will stay property of the supporting local institutions, but our aim is that, just as in the cases of 2008 TC3, Sutter's Mill, and Chelyabinsk, samples from the recovered meteorites will be made available to an international consortium of meteoriticists interested in studying the pristinely collected material. The material properties of the recovered meteorites will help understand the circumstances of the fragmentation process.

Investigation of large unannounced impacts - Large > 0.05 kt impacts from >1 meter sized asteroids are investigated if their pre-atmospheric approach orbit can be determined. Examples include the field study of the Chelyabinsk airburst and the 2012 Sutter's Mill fall.

Practice - When there is an opportunity, practice rapid response and airborne observations.

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Curator: Peter Jenniskens
Last update: March 25, 2015

Hosted by: The SETI Institute
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Supporting programs:
IAU Minor Planet Center
JPL NEO Office
Catalina Sky Survey
NASA Ames Research Center