The possibility of unraveling the Solar System’s history, especially if done by studying a piece of extra- terrestrial rock (i.e., a meteorite), tantalized scientists in the last two centuries. This is the reason why the recovery of a fresh fall meteorite is crucial to get as much info as possible, also owing to its unweathered nature. Today the PRISMA network (First Italian Network for Surveillance of Meteor and Atmosphere), consisting of more than 60 all-sky cameras coordinated and managed by the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), performs continuous monitoring of the Italian skies at night-time, to detect fireballs and bolides, trace their trajectory to the ground and calculate the strewnfield with the aim to quickly recover possible meteorites (Pratesi et al., 2021). After PRISMA has ascertained the fall of potential meteorite fragments and has alerted the local authorities, a remarkable citizen science experiment begins. At this point, mineralogical museums – usually asked by people about the discovery of alleged meteorites (Franza et al., 2021) – play an important educational and organizational role in coordinating meteorite research. The procedure starts with setting up a base camp, which must be located near or within the strewnfield. On the basis of the data provided by PRISMA, museum staff coordinate the surveys and organize the activities generally supported by volunteers, citizens, and members of local associations (e.g., amateur astronomers and metal detectors). Volunteers are then given basic knowledge about the nature of meteorites, their appearance, and their main characteristics by showing real meteorites. Subsequently, they receive information on what to do in case of discovery. Volunteers are also trained on how to move around the strewnfield to carry on a methodical search, avoiding random movements that may leave unexplored areas. Finally, the use of smartphones – nowadays equipped with built-in GPS chips – makes it possible to track the areas already searched and plan further investigations. This procedure has been set up during the three freshly-fallen meteorites’ research that has occurred to date in Italy – e.g., Cavezzo (2020), Temennotte (2021), Quarrata-Agliana (2022) – and have proved to be helpful in guaranteeing a systematic survey of the potential fall area. In conclusion, mineralogical museums can successfully be extraordinary aggregators of knowledge and interest in the fascinating topic of meteorite research.

Freshly-fallen meteorite’s field research methodology: a citizen science example involving mineralogical museums / Cuppone T.; Gardiol D.; Morelli M.; Serra R.; Franza A.; Pratesi G.. - ELETTRONICO. - (2022), pp. 177-177. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Congresso Congiunto SGI-SIMP, GEOSCIENCES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.

Freshly-fallen meteorite’s field research methodology: a citizen science example involving mineralogical museums

Cuppone T.;Franza A.;Pratesi G.
2022

Abstract

The possibility of unraveling the Solar System’s history, especially if done by studying a piece of extra- terrestrial rock (i.e., a meteorite), tantalized scientists in the last two centuries. This is the reason why the recovery of a fresh fall meteorite is crucial to get as much info as possible, also owing to its unweathered nature. Today the PRISMA network (First Italian Network for Surveillance of Meteor and Atmosphere), consisting of more than 60 all-sky cameras coordinated and managed by the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), performs continuous monitoring of the Italian skies at night-time, to detect fireballs and bolides, trace their trajectory to the ground and calculate the strewnfield with the aim to quickly recover possible meteorites (Pratesi et al., 2021). After PRISMA has ascertained the fall of potential meteorite fragments and has alerted the local authorities, a remarkable citizen science experiment begins. At this point, mineralogical museums – usually asked by people about the discovery of alleged meteorites (Franza et al., 2021) – play an important educational and organizational role in coordinating meteorite research. The procedure starts with setting up a base camp, which must be located near or within the strewnfield. On the basis of the data provided by PRISMA, museum staff coordinate the surveys and organize the activities generally supported by volunteers, citizens, and members of local associations (e.g., amateur astronomers and metal detectors). Volunteers are then given basic knowledge about the nature of meteorites, their appearance, and their main characteristics by showing real meteorites. Subsequently, they receive information on what to do in case of discovery. Volunteers are also trained on how to move around the strewnfield to carry on a methodical search, avoiding random movements that may leave unexplored areas. Finally, the use of smartphones – nowadays equipped with built-in GPS chips – makes it possible to track the areas already searched and plan further investigations. This procedure has been set up during the three freshly-fallen meteorites’ research that has occurred to date in Italy – e.g., Cavezzo (2020), Temennotte (2021), Quarrata-Agliana (2022) – and have proved to be helpful in guaranteeing a systematic survey of the potential fall area. In conclusion, mineralogical museums can successfully be extraordinary aggregators of knowledge and interest in the fascinating topic of meteorite research.
GEOSCIENCES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, Torino 19-21 settembre 2022
Congresso Congiunto SGI-SIMP, GEOSCIENCES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Cuppone T.; Gardiol D.; Morelli M.; Serra R.; Franza A.; Pratesi G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1287284
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