The impact of a medium-sized meteoroid in the region of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013, was historic, for several reasons:
- It is the largest such event in several decades and probably the largest since the Tunguska event over Siberia in 1908.
- The meteoroid passed over a populated area. More than 1.4 million people in nearby cities could have witnessed the event.
- It happened around sunrise. Many people were awake and outdoors.
- It happened under a clear, cloudless sky.
- It was the first meteoroid impact of the Internet era, widely shared via YouTube and social media.
The impact of a previously undetected small asteroid highlights the vulnerability of our species to potential threats from space. It shows that we need increased public awareness about such threats and political efforts to protect ourselves against future impacts.
What can we learn from the Chelyabinsk event? A lot. Scientists need to understand the origin of such bodies and why many of them still avoid detection; they also need to improve the physics behind their asteroid impact models, so they can better explain what happens to a high-velocity meteoroid when it enters the atmosphere.
For additional information see the FACom blog entry at http://astronomia.udea.edu.co/cec2013-blog
The Chelyabinsk Event Campaign (CEC2013) is an effort to gather images, video, sound and any other kind of information obtained by witnesses equipped with a camera, cell phone or recording device. Our aim is to motivate enthusiasts to collaborate with scientists to reconstruct as precisely as possible the events of the morning of February 15, 2013. Not just those with recordings are invited to participate. We want to encourage people from all over the world to take the publicly available material and extract from it as much useful information as possible. We explain how, below.
This is an ambitious goal and success is not guaranteed. To start with, we have two very simple objectives:
- Collect and upload media recordings of the event
- Determine the precise geographical locations of recordings, or help identify and measure visible landmarks in them
Achieving these two simple objectives will greatly facilitate scientific analysis of the event. It is important to note that a project of this scale is only possible with the participation of citizen scientists like yourself.
Depending on how well these first two objectives are met, other objectives may be added. Science is a never-ending pursuit.
You can participate in this campaign by doing two relatively simple things:
Task 1: Upload any kind of material (video, pictures, audio recordings, seismographic data, environmental measurements, etc.) that can be useful to the study of the event. If you own the material, try to add metadata such as camera model and/or lens type, and geographic location, if you can. If you found the material online, we’re interested in collecting that too.
Task 2: Take a look at already uploaded material and see if you can identify the location or identify and measure the landmarks in the footage. Exact locations, distances, heights, names… All and any information can be valuable to the analysis.
Although a lot of material is already available on YouTube and elsewhere on the web, most of it lacks critical metadata, which we hope to obtain with your help.
I have material
You have amateur, professional or scientific data related to the event that you would like to contribute. We are looking for all kinds of data, including but not limited to video, pictures, audio recordings, data from weather stations or seismographs… The material will be made available to scientists and enthusiasts so that they can collectively extract as much information from it as possible.
I can recognize places and objects in the uploaded material
You live in the Chelyabinsk area (or know the region) and are able to recognize the locations of the uploaded material, or can help identify or measure landmarks.
Data management policy
If your data contributes significantly to obtaining useful scientific results, you might be invited to participate in the publication of scientific reports or peer-reviewed articles. In other cases you still will be acknowledged for your contribution.
Scientists and enthusiasts obtaining useful information from this site are invited to acknowledge those who provided material or additional information, using the names they provided. We also invite the people or institutions using this information to acknowledge the Chelyabinsk Event Campaign 2013 (http://russianmeteor2013.org) and encourage others to contribute.
The information published on this website is freely available. No embargo or any other limitation affects it. This project is a global and non-profit effort to understand a scientific phenomenon of common interest to all mankind.