Divers hope to raise biggest Chelyabinsk meteorite yet

Russian newspaper from last October showing divers rafting the 1,250-lb. hunk of Chelyabinsk meteorite to the shoreline of Chebakul Lake. The bold red headline reads: “Alien was raised from the bottom”. Credit: Bob King

Last October, divers fished out a 1.250 pound meteorite from Chebarkul Lake west of the city of Chelyabinsk. You’ll recall Chelyabinsk gave its name to the spectacular Russian fireball that rocked the city February 15 last year. The shock wave from the exploding meteoroid damaged buildings and shattered windows – flying glass injured some 1,600 people.

The largest piece of the meteorite pulled from Cherbarkul Lake is now on display in the Chelyabinsk Regional History Museum. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of small fragments pelted the snowy countryside near the city, and a big piece (or pieces) punched a neat hole some 20 feet (6-meters) through the ice of Chebarkul Lake. Russian scientists mapped the lake bottom soon after and found several “anomalies”. One of them proved to be the 1,250-pound behemoth, which divers retrieved after much effort.

It’s the largest fragment found to date, but that may change soon. Divers and scientists have found a dozen more anomalies, including one that indicates an object weighting several tons, according to Arkady Ovcharenko of the Geophysics Institute of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Compilation of some of the best videos of the Chelyabinsk fireball

Last weekend, divers attempted to explore the new sites but high winds and turbid water put the kibosh on their efforts. This Saturday they used special probes to pinpoint two separate locations where the anomalies are clustered.

Vitaliy Khvatov, my contact in Russia, tells me that the search begins anew tomorrow to locate and retrieve the granddaddy meteorite and its siblings.

10 Sochi Olympians will win gold medals studded with Chelyabinsk meteorites

A worker creates a special souvenir Olympic medal with a fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite at the MAOK art workshop in Zlatoust, Russia. In addition to their gold medals, winners on Feb. 15 will each receive an additional gold and meteorite medal. Credit: RIA Novosti / Aleksandr Kondratuk

Athletes who win gold in Sochi Winter Olympics on February 15 will take away something even more valuable – a fragment of the Russian fireball that blew up over Chelyabinsk, Russia on the same day a year ago.

“We will hand out our medals to all the athletes who will win gold on that day, because both the meteorite strike and the Olympic Games are global events,” said Alexei Betekhtin, culture minister for the Chelyabinsk region.

The great fireball over Chelyabinsk, Russia captured on a dashcam on Feb. 15, 2013. Credit: Aleksandr Ivanov

The Chelyabinsk fall, the largest witnessed meteorite fall in over 100 years, exploded with 20-30 times the force of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima at an altitude of just 14.5 miles (23 km). Before it detonated into thousands of mostly gravel-sized meteorites and dust, it’s estimate the incoming meteoroid was as tall as a five-story building. The shock wave from the explosion shattered windows up and down the city, injuring nearly 1,500 people.

A beautiful, fluted 889g (1.96 lb.) fragment of Chelyabinsk. Cube is 1 cm (1/2″) across. Credit: Alexander of Chelya

The largest fragment, weighing 1,442 lbs. (654 kg), punched a hole in the ice of Lake Chebarkul. Divers raised it from the bottom muck on Oct. 16 last year and rafted it ashore, where scientists and excited onlookers watched as the massive space rock was hoisted onto a scale and promptly broke into three pieces. Even the scale broke from the weight.

A chip of Chelyabinsk will be affixed to each of the special medals; 10 will go to the gold medallists and another 40 will be sold to private collectors.

The lucky gold medal winners will received the cosmically-inspired medals on February 15 for the following events: men’s 1,500 meter speed skating, the women’s 1,000 meters and the men’s 1,500 short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super-giant slalom and men’s skeleton events.

An example of the gold medal that will be awarded to Olympians in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi which begins Feb. 7. Credit: Sochi 2014

“We are made of star stuff,” as the late Carl Sagan once said. While the special medals bear space rocks billions of years old, consider the gold itself. Once thought to have been forged in supernovae explosions, recent research has shown that most gold is created when neutron stars collide and merge.

Neutron stars are the remnant collapsed cores of supergiant stars after they explode as supernovae. Although most of the material in the collisions disappears down a newly-formed black hole, some of it’s ejected at high speed into space where neutrons crashing into neutrons build heavy elements like gold and platinum.

What about the silver medals and the copper used in the bronze? Those elements formed in the tremendous energy liberated in long-ago supernovae blasts. So while only a few lucky ones will get a meteorite medal, all winners will receive souvenirs from the most cataclysmic events in the known universe.

Two monster meteors flare and boom over Minnesota and Midwest

A spectacular fragmenting fireball described by some as as bright as the sun crosses the sky in this frame grab from a security camera video at 5:44 p.m. Dec. 26 in North Liberty, Iowa. Click to watch video.

The sky’s been rumbling with two bright fireball sightings in Minnesota across the Midwest this past week. On Dec. 26 a monster fireball that garnered more than 1,050 reports on the American Meteor Society’s website turned night into day across parts of Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. The fireball traveled from east to west and flashed into view in late twilight around 5:45 p.m.

Map showing the possible trajectory of the Dec. 26, 2013 fireball over Iowa. It was also seen from parts of Missouri, Kansas and other states.  Click for more info and updates. Credit: Mike Hankey / AMS

Although many people witnessed the the meteor there were no reports of sounds associated with the event. No so with the second fireball.

That one came out of nowhere (not strictly true – most originate from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter) around 10:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 27.

Of the 96 sightings so far reported, 29 people heard associated explosions and booms, likely signs that pieces of the original meteoroid survived the searing heat and pressure of atmospheric entry and landed as meteorites. Here’s how Justin D. of Brainerd, Minn. described it:

Map with green markers showing sightings of the Dec. 27 fireball. Although seen in neighboring states most reports were from Minnesota with explosive sounds heard in the north central part of the state.  The meteor traveled along an approximately south to north direction. Credit: LunarMeteoriteHunter / Google Earth

“While driving at night I witnessed the sky in north central Minnesota start flickering in the clouds as if there was lightening, and then the clouds started turning light blue, purple, pink, bright orange, and then from horizon to horizon went bright white and then reversed. Lasted about 4-6 seconds, I slowed down and rolled down my window and also focused on driving when an enormous boom followed a short time later. Reminded me of video from last years Russian meteor.”

Brightness estimates of this fireball run the gamut from the equivalent of a half moon to as brilliant as the sun. If you’d like to report sighting either (or any) fireball, please fill out an AMS report form.

A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper driving south of Sedalia, Missouri spotted the Dec. 26 fireball and activated his dash cam. Watching the video took me back to February’s huge fireball in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Click to see for yourself.

Marc Fries of Galactic Analytics, an organization which provides real-time information to on meteorite falls to scientists, hunters and meteorite collectors, reports that some of the Doppler weather radars in the upper Midwest picked up “returns” or reflections from possible falling meteorites from the Dec. 26 fireball.

Meanwhile the National Weather Service of Duluth, Minn. noted on its Facebook page that “KDLH Doppler radar has picked up on several objects that appear to be meteors, moving quickly from east-to-west across the sky” in the Brainerd Lakes area.

Unfortunately no TV or security camera videos have turned up for the Dec. 27 fireball. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this – to seek more information. If you had a camera running that evening or know someone who did, please contact Mike Hankey (mike.hankey@gmail.com) at the AMS and Dirk Ross at the Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News. Video, especially from multiple angles, can help scientists determine the meteoroid’s orbit and where any fragments may have landed.

If meteorites fell, I’m envisioning black rocks on snow. Sounds like an easy hunt right? Except that any potential celestial stones would likely fall in deep snow now blanketing the woods and fields. We can hope that the Doppler information will help pinpoint a fall location that hunters can explore in the spring. Or maybe kids will scrounge up an unusual black rock when looking for eyes for their snowman.

Biggest Chelyabinsk meteorite caught on video crashing into Lake Chebarkul


Security camera video showing the impact of the largest piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite striking Lake Chebarkul on Feb. 15, 2013. Credit: Nikolaj Mel’nikov

While it may not be much to look at, the simple fact that it was recorded at all makes it an incredibly rare and invaluable document of the great Russian meteorite fall.  You’ll recall that a house-sized meteoroid created a gigantic fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia’s Ural Mountain region on Feb. 15 this year. It was probably the most photographed fireball in history thanks to all the dashcams that recorded the scene as people headed to work on that clear, cold morning.

Five Chelyabinsk meteorite fragments weighing a total of just 7 grams. Credit: Bob King

The meteoroid or tiny asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere that day was the size of a five-story building, but it broke up into thousands of much smaller pieces from the pressure and shock of hitting our protective blanket of air at over 41,000 mph (66,960 km/hr) or 60 times the speed of sound.

Frame grab from the video showing the movement of the ice and snow cloud created by the impact of the 1/2-ton meteorite. I still can’t be sure of seeing the meteorite itself but the cloud isn’t too hard to spot.

One of those pieces – the largest found to date – punched a 20-foot-wide (6-meter) hole in Lake Chebarkul about 43 miles southwest of Chelyabinsk. No one witnessed the moment of impact, but divers using special equipment discovered a half-ton meteorite buried in the muck in the bottom of the lake. The rock was finally fished out with great effort on Oct. 16 and taken ashore to be weighed. As it was lifted in

 

The 20-foot hole in the ice of Lake Chebarkul from the impact of a large hunk of Chelyabinsk meteorite. Credit: AP

Meteors leave brilliant trails that make a great spectacle; large ones like Chelyabinsk leave trails that linger for many minutes, providing countless opportunities for photos. But what about the stuff that survives the fiery plunge and makes it to the ground as meteorites?

Very rarely does anyone ever see a meteorite strike the ground. Video or still picture recordings are rarer still. That’s why it’s worth a minute to study the Chebarkul video to appreciate what you’re seeing. It recently popped up on Youtube as part of an online presentation on the Chelyabinsk airburst by Peter Jenniskens, noted meteorite expert and senior research scientist at the SETI Institute. You can watch Jenniskens’ full report HERE.


Biggest hunk of Chelyabinsk meteorite pulled from Lake Chebarkul

When you watch the video, make it “full-screen” and focus your attention on the area to the left of the small, rectangular ice fishing shack at the top middle of the image. In the slowed-down part of the footage you’ll see a cloud of ice and snow blow up and quickly drift to the right of the shack immediately after impact. Can you see it? If not, I grabbed the video frame showing the moment-by-moment sequence. Give this a look and watch the video again.

Fireball explodes over Columbus, Ohio – 2nd Midwestern light show in 2 days


Video of the fireball and its lingering trail over Ohio Friday night Sept. 27 caught on NASA’s All-Sky Cameras operated by Bill Cooke

Last night around 11:30 p.m EDT., sky watchers living in at least 14 states were treated to one of the most spectacular fireballs ever. It was the second major Midwestern fireball in two days. The first lit up skies across Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Ohio Thursday morning around 7:05 a.m. CDT.


Thursday early morning fireball across the Midwest

Within hours, the Thursday fireball quickly became the American Meteor Society’s 2nd most reported of all time with over 730 reports. Friday night’s fireball will likely overtake that with 450 reports reviewed and more than 400 pending.

Last night’s meteor blazed a trail almost directly over the city of Columbus, Ohio speeding through the upper atmosphere from east to west at more than 114,000 mph (227,000 km/hr). Observers describe a brilliant blue ball and yellow-orange tail; some heard sonic booms and concussions.

Ground track of Friday night’s fireball over Ohio. Credit: Bill Cooke, NASA

Based on its brightness, Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office estimates the meteoroid’s size at around 3 feet (1-meter) across. I’m crossing my fingers meteorites might eventually be found on the ground.

More on the fireballs HERE and HERE.


Report on a hand-sized meteorite that fell in Brazil on Monday

Far from Ohio, an actual meteorite landed with a loud noise in a homeowner’s front yard in Vicencia, Pernambuco, Brazil on Monday Sept. 23. The TV video footage shows the new arrival. To read the story in the garbled language of your choice (use Google Translate) and view much clearer photos, click HERE.

Huge fireball may have dropped meteorites in Tennessee


Aug. 28 fireball from one of NASA’s All-Sky cameras. It’s so bright at the end the meteor completely saturates the detector.

A fabulously bright fireball, now estimated at magnitude -16 or some 20 times brighter than the full moon, lit up the sky over the southeastern U.S. around 2:27 a.m. CDT Aug. 28. Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office reports that it’s the brightest event the office’s all-sky camera network has recorded since starting up five years ago.

Still frame from the video. Credit: NASA / ASGARD

Based on speed and brightness, the meteoroid’s original mass before it struck the atmosphere at 56,000 mph (90,000 km/hr) was around 240 lbs (109 kg) with a diameter rivaling that of a large exercise ball (3 feet or 1 meter).

The ground track shows where the fireball flew over and where it could have dropped meteorites. Credit: NASA / Google Maps

Given its size and the report of sonic booms during the fireball’s passing, it’s possible meteorites may have landed on and near the meteor’s ground track in the vicinity of Ocoee in far southeastern Tennessee. Judging from the track map, the area looks like mixed farms and forest. People are already out looking as I write. Let’s hope someone reports strange black rocks where none should be.

Spectacular Mexico meteor recalls Great Daylight Fireball of 1972


Video of the Aug. 21, 2013 Mexican daylight fireball. No sounds were heard by eyewitnesses

On the afternoon of Aug. 21 a fireball strikingly reminiscent of the Great Daylight Fireball of 1972  streaked across the sky near San Luis Potosi in central Mexico. Fortunately, a few people caught its passage with video cameras and cellphones.


Another video of the fireball taking from a moving car

Since there’ve been no reports of falling meteorites, it’s possible the space rock responsible for the spectacular display either skipped off the atmosphere and returned to outer space or fragmented and disintegrated.

A fireball similar to the Mexican one streaked over Wyoming on August 10, 1972 and came as close as 35 miles before skipping back into space. See video below. Credit and copyright: Antarctic Search for Meteorites program, Case Western Reserve University, James M. Baker

The meteor’s speed is amazing. My hunch is in the neighborhood of 40-50,000 mph (56-80,000 km/hr) based upon a similar daylight fireball that etched a chalky streak above the Grand Tetons in Wyoming on Aug. 10, 1972.  A tiny asteroid estimated at 10-32 feet (3-10 meters) in diameter entered Earth’s atmosphere over Utah at 50,000 mph that afternoon and traveled some 2,000 miles to a point over central Alberta, Canada. There it bid a fond farewell and returned to space. Easy come, easy go.


Video of the Great Fireball of 1972

Like a rock skipped on a pond, the truck-sized meteoroid briefly skimmed the rarified air 35 miles (57 km) above Earth surface and “landed” back in space to continue an orbit around the sun. To this day, the object known as US19720810, remains an Earth-crosser, though its orbit was changed by the close encounter. The burned and bruised space rock last passed near the planet in August 1997.

How do we know so much about an object that dashed by so briefly so long ago? Beginning in the early 1970s the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has kept an eye on missile launches and the like using classified satellites equipped with infrared sensors. These space based eyes also routinely record brilliant fireballs and exploding meteoroids in Earth’s atmosphere.

Path of the 1972 fireball adapted from an illustration by Donna Wolke

The 1972 atmospheric impact was the first fireball to be recorded with the new technology. Later analysis showed it was an Apollo-class asteroid first detected at an altitude of about 45 miles (73 km). It dipped as low as 33 miles (53 km) over the Idaho-Montana border before climbing back out of the atmosphere and into space. The entire passage lasted about 100 seconds.

Apollos are Earth-crossing asteroids. The February 15 Russian Chelyabinsk meteor fireball also belonged to the Apollo class. Astronomers have found about 240 of an estimated 2,000 of the largest Earth-grazers, those one kilometer or larger. The bad news (or good news if you like fireballs) is there are about 80 million Apollo-ettes buzzing around out there.

For the latest on the Mexico meteor including more videos, click over to Dirk Ross’s fab Latest Worldwide Meteor / Meteorite News.

** Bright fireball update: A major fireball brighter than the half moon blazed over the southeastern U.S. at about 2:27 a.m. CDT Aug. 28. Sonic booms were heard, and it’s likely meteorites from the breakup of the object reached the ground near Cleveland, Tennessee. Click HERE for photos, a video and updated info.

Listen to the Chelyabinsk fireball’s infrasound tsunami

 

Click image to see and hear multiple explosions of the fireball when it broke apart 12-15 miles high over Chelyabinsk, Russia on Feb. 15, 2013. This video scares me every time I see it.

You’ve probably seen and heard at least one video of February’s fireball exploding over Cheylabinsk, Russia. The shock wave from entry and subsequent break up of the meteoroid blew out thousands of windows, caused part of a building to collapse and set off countless car alarms.

A tiny sampling of the thousands of pea-sized meteorites recovered from the Chelyabinsk region after the fireball. Credit: Mike Farmer

Scientists estimate the incoming object measured about 55 feet (17m) across – as big as a 5-story building – weighed 7,000 tons and blazed across the sky at over 40,000 mph (64,000 kph). The shock pressure and heat upon entry converted much of the mass into dust, seen as a smoky “contrail”, and the rest into thousands of small meteorites that pocked snow drifts in the surrounding countryside.

Click image to listen to the atmospheric “tsunami” that sent waves of infrasound around the globe.

While the Chelyabinsk event was the most impressive witnessed meteor in more than 100 years, its effects were even more far-reaching. Almost 6,000 miles (9,600 km) away in Lilburn, Georgia a full 10 hours after the explosion, infrasound sensors recorded multiple rumbles from the object’s impact with the air.

Infrasound, a very low frequency sound wave that can travel long distances, can’t be heard by human ears but can be detected with sensors. When a large meteor enters the atmosphere it sends ripples of infrasound through the atmosphere and around the planet revealing information about its speed, direction of travel and how much energy it contains.

Locations of the Earthscope’s seismic sensors across the U.S. and into Canada. Click map and see if one is near you. Credit: National Science Foundation / Earthscope

Lilburn is home to one of nearly 400 seismic/infrasound stations in use in the eastern United States. They are part of a large-scale project named Earthscope, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation that studies the Earth’s interior beneath North America. Although the stations mostly record seismic waves from earthquakes, they also are sensitive to long-period waves of infrasound.

Georgia Tech faculty member Zhigang Peng took the Lilburn infrasound data, sped it up and amplified it so we can heard the reverberations created by the falling meteoroid as it plowed through the atmosphere.

Click image to hear infrasound recording of a North Korean nuclear test and a magnitude 5.1 Nevada earthquake by Peng

“The sound started at about 10 hours after the explosion and lasted for another 10 hours in Georgia,” said Peng. Like a tsunami set in motion by an earthquake, the Chelyabinsk meteoroid created a series of tsunami-like waves in the atmosphere itself. Both travel at nearly the same speed.

Peng has used the same process to convert seismic waves and underground nuclear explosions into audible sound. Click above for a listen. Check out this site for more exploding Chelyabinsk videos.

Update on the fireball that exploded over Russia

The largest ~ 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) Chelyabinsk / Chebarkul meteorite found to date alongside many smaller fragments. Credit: Screenshot from video, courtesy press-service Ural Federal University

The sun rose twice over the Ural Mountains in Russia Friday February 15. No one expected the second sun, a meteoroid that slammed into the atmosphere so fast it set the air aglow with a fire even brighter than the real sun. It lasted more than 30 seconds before exploding and sending a shock wave rippling across the city of Chelyabinsk and surrounding countryside.

Thousands of residents of small towns in the area of the fall at and around Lake Chebarkul have been busy hunting for meteorite fragments by looking for holes in the snow cover and then carefully clearing away the white stuff until a little black rock remains. It must sound and look like an Easter egg hunt out there. Some of the locals are cashing in on meteorite fever by offering rides to the big hole in the ice on Chebarkul Lake thought to have been punctured by a meteorite fragment.

Another view of the biggest meteorite fragment. It’s shows regmaglypts or dimples created when high temperatures during entry heat and melt away minerals on the surface. Click to see more images of  meteorites found from the fall. Credit: Screenshot from video, courtesy press-service Ural Federal University

Many of the stones – some real, some obviously fake – are popping up on various auction sites in Russia and elsewhere. A quick check on eBay under “Chelyabinsk meteorite” turned up 29 listings today. How many of those are real? Hard to say.

One meteorite hunter interviewed by a BBC team put it this way: “It’s like hunting or fishing. When you see an animal, your heart starts to beat fast, and when you’re fishing – it’s like pulling the fishing rod and thinking there’s something extraordinary. This is the same – you see a tiny hole, try it, and here it is.”

After more than a week of study, we know a little more about the asteroid that created this shower of stones in large part from information recorded by a network of infrasound sensors operated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Their purpose is to monitor nuclear explosions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-8ij80vs1E
Recording of infrasound from the Russian fireball that’s been sped up 135 times so we can hear it. The original file was 25 minutes long!

Infrasound, a very low frequency sound wave that can travel long distances, can only be heard by a few animals including elephants. When a large meteor enters the atmosphere it sends ripples of infrasound across the atmosphere around the planet revealing information about its speed, direction of travel and how much energy it contains.

“The Russian meteor’s infrasound signal was was the strongest ever detected by the CTBTO network. The furthest station to record the sub-audible sound was 9,300 miles away in Antarctica,” according to a NASA press release.

Russian fireball on Feb. 15, 2013 recorded by a dashcam

Here’s what we know based on an analysis by Western Ontario Professor of Physics Peter Brown:

* Size: 56 feet (17 meters) in diameter
* Weight: 11,000 tons (10,000 metric tons)
* Speed: 40,000 mph (64,000 km/hour) and broke apart 12-15 miles above Earth’s surface
* Exploded with the power of 470 kilotons of TNT which is equal to more than 23 1940s-era atomic bombs

We looked at the asteroid’s orbit the other day and discovered it belonged to the Apollo family of Earth-crossing asteroids. When farthest from Earth it used to mingle with its many friends in the asteroid belt. Like the majority of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter it has a rocky composition.

Scientists study 53 tiny meteorites from Russian fireball

Pieces of the Russian meteorite fall are seen in a laboratory in Yekaterinburg on Monday, Feb.18, 2013. Black shock veins are visible in the broken specimen in the background if you look closely. Credit: AP Photo/ The Urals Federal University Press Service, Alexander Khlopotov

Scientists at Urals Federal University in Yekaterinburg have examined 53 meteorite fragments taken from the perimeter of the hole in frozen Chebarkul Lake. The largest is only 7 mm (about a quarter-inch) across; the smallest about one millimeter. Many are covered with dark fusion crust, a layer of melted and blackened rock from atmospheric heating.

The majority of the 53 pieces of the meteorite picked up around the hole at Chebarkul Lake displayed in the lab at the university in Yekaterinburg. The insides of the stones shows the typical pale gray, concrete-like texture of certain common chondrites. Credit: AP / The Urals Federal University Press Service, Alexander Khlopotov

The little stones are a common type of meteorite called a chondrite (KON-drite) that originated in the crust of an asteroid. A long-ago impact sent a fragment of the asteroid flying toward the inner solar system where it ultimately encountered Earth last Friday.

The Russian meteorite, which may receive the name Chebarkul, after the lake and town where it was found, contains about 10% iron-nickel, magnesium-rich chrysolite and sulfite, all common materials found in stony meteorites.

 

Look at how small the pieces are. I have to believe there are many more to be found from the powerful fireball. The sign reads: Meteorite Chebarkul. Credit: AP Photo / The Urals Federal University Press Service, Alexander Khlopotov

Chondrites are classified according to their iron content. Those with 15-20% nickel-iron metal are iron-rich and named “H” chondrites. Meteorites with a 7-11% nickel-iron content are classified as “L” chondrites, and those with the lowest amount of iron are the “LL” variety. Based on the lab’s description, it would appear that the fireball left a trail of L-chondrite crumbs. Let’s hope the hunters and scientists can follow the trail to the bigger ones.

** Update: I’ve recently learned via Russia TV and the New York Times this morning (Feb. 19) that local people are finding hundreds of small fragments buried in the snow. Read the full New York Times article and see more photos HERE.