EDP Sciences
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Volume 428, Number 1, December II 2004
Page(s) 241 - 246
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041398

A&A 428, 241-246 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041398

Some features of Geminid meteoroid disintegration in the Earth's atmosphere

P. B. Babadzhanov and N. A. Konovalova

Institute of Astrophysics, Tajik Academy of Sciences, and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Tajikistan Branch; Bukhoro Str. 22, Dushanbe 734042, Tajikistan
    e-mail: pb@tajik.net

(Received 3 June 2004 / Accepted 13 July 2004)

Among 11 bright Geminid meteors photographed at the Institute of Astrophysics, Tajik Academy of Sciences (Dushanbe, Tajikistan), 3 displayed distinct high-frequency (more than 100 Hz) pulsations of brightness, or flickering. As a rule, for these Geminids, pulsations of brightness begin at the middle of their photographed path, at the height of about 75 km, and last until the end of the visible trajectory. Different possible meteoroid ablation mechanisms causing the flickering of the bright Geminids are discussed. The obtained results allow us to conclude that the observed high-frequency flickering of Geminid fireballs may be explained by an autofluctuating mechanism of the meteoroid ablation, i.e. by melting and cyclic ablation of the surface-layer of meteoric matter with the period corresponding to the observed period of the flickering.

Key words: meteors, meteoroids

© ESO 2004