On the night of February 16, 2020 at 9:22 p.m., five visual witnesses and two cameras from the Fireball Recovery and InterPlanetary Observation Network (FRIPON) network detected the passage of a very bright racing bolide passing through the sky of Franche-Comté. The cloud cover that night did not allow to obtain more data but, thanks to this information, the FRIPON-Vigie Ciel network (www.vigie-ciel.org) was still able to determine the trajectory of the racing bolide, which would have resulted in the fall of a meteorite between Dijon and Besançon.
The two cameras that observed the phenomenon are located in Dijon (installed above the ICB laboratory, on the roof of the Sciences Mirande building) and in Chalon-sur-Saône.
You don’t have to be a researcher to help science
The Vigie-Ciel participatory science program has developed a network of relays and trained participants across France, capable of organizing themselves during a fall detected by the FRIPON network in order to search for meteorites. The current health situation and the few testimonies received have delayed the estimation of the fall area and the implementation of field research. However, the Vigie-Ciel relay in Besançon, alerted in early May, organized a research day this Saturday, May 16, after having obtained the agreement of the owners of the land concerned. Two teams of ten researchers went to the site.
The “meteorite collectors" have traveled the fields while respecting a protocol established thanks to the experience acquired during the first meteorite test research in recent years. The protocol stipulates that research is coordinated by a local FRIPON / Vigie-Ciel relay (see relay card on vigie-ciel.org) and is carried out by participants who have undergone prior training. Research is carried out in small groups on the sites for which authorization has been obtained. A number of precautions are implemented, such as not using magnets so as not to disturb the magnetic memory of meteorites that could be found.
Local residents were made aware of the FRIPON / Vigie-Ciel research and participatory science program. They are invited to open their eyes wide during their walks to possibly recognize these particular rocks and, in the event of discovery, contact the nearest relay.
What if you too participated in scientific research?
If you see a racing bolide in the sky, report it on: vigie-ciel.imo.net