EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 466, Number 2, May I 2007
Page(s) 729 - 735
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20066838

A&A 466, 729-735 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066838

Optical observations of enhanced activity of the 2005 Draconid meteor shower

P. Koten, J. Borovicka, P. Spurný, and R. Stork

Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Ondrejov Observatory, Fricova 298, 25165 Ondrejov, Czech Republic
    e-mail: koten@asu.cas.cz

(Received 29 November 2006 / Accepted 11 January 2007)

Context.The enhanced activity of the Draconid meteor shower was observed on October 8, 2005 using video and photographic cameras.
Aims.The aim of this paper is to use a higher than usual number of recorded meteors to look at some physical properties of the Draconid meteoroids, to describe the activity profile, and to infer meteor orbits.
Methods.Video data on meteors are used for the determination of the meteor shower activity. Double station data provide precise beginning heights of the meteors as well as their radiants and orbits. Beginning heights and light curves of all meteors are used for investigation of meteoroid properties.
Results.Only the descending branch of the enhanced activity was observed between 17:30 and 19 UT. The mass distribution index is similar to the 1998 return. Beginning heights of the Draconid meteors are several kilometres higher in comparison with other meteors of similar velocity. Light curves are nearly symmetrical, with a slight preference of early maxima. Both results are consistent with the very fragile nature of Draconid meteoroids.

Key words: meteors, meteoroids -- comets: individual: 21P/Giacobini-Zinner

© ESO 2007