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Vigie-Ciel aims to involve citizens in research at the interface between astronomy and geology by identifying and describing extraterrestrial material landing on Earth.

Specific actions

Vigie-Ciel aims to involve the public in the observation of meteors, the search for recently fallen meteorites and the identification of new impact craters on Earth.

Project created
Mainland France

Type of project : Field, online

Participation period : All year

Level of involvement : Case by case


Observer le ciel
Rechercher des météorites
Photo credits YohanGruson-Daniel

Project description

Vigie-Ciel is based on the simple realization that fewer meteorites were found in the 20th century than in the 19th century. This could be due to several factors including urbanization, but also a lack of awareness of these objects or why they fall on Earth. 

Vigie Ciel was created to stop failing to notice these objects, which are so valuable for studying the origin of the solar system. 

Vigie-Ciel uses the cameras of the Fireball Recovery and Interplanetary Observation Network (FRIPON), which was set up in France as part of a French National Research Agency (ANR) project led by the Observatoire de Paris. The meteorite landing places thus defined by astronomers allow alerted and trained members of the public to act quickly and search for meteorites before they become altered.

Such a program addresses the need to raise awareness and educate the public about meteorite falls to encourage their participation and interest, and maintain this interest over time. To do this, it builds on a diverse network of regional and local partners, including various organizations furthering scientific, technical and industrial culture, learned societies and teachers. These partners help with the development of the program. Together, they enhance their effectiveness by developing innovative practices to strengthen the link between mediation, research and culture. 

The partners work together to develop tools including educational kits and proposals for associated activities, presentations, exhibitions and brochures to train mediators in their respective regions. These efforts help raise awareness of meteorite falls and encourage citizens to participate in the program.

The participation

Training required

Training is recommended.


Asma Steinhausser

Asma Steinhausser

Coordination des projets de sciences participatives Vigie-Ciel et Vigie-Terre

Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN)


Asma Steinhausser

Brigitte Zanda

Brigitte Zanda

Maître de conférences MNHN - Responsable scientifique de Vigie-Ciel

Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN)

Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie (IMPMC)