EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 506, Number 3, November II 2009
Page(s) 1445 - 1454
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912305
Published online 03 September 2009
A&A 506, 1445-1454 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912305

Precise data on Leonid fireballs from all-sky photographic records

L. Shrbený1, 2 and P. Spurný1

1  Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences v.v.i., Ondřejov Observatory, Czech Republic
    e-mail: shrbeny@asu.cas.cz
2  Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ, UK

Received 8 April 2009 / Accepted 29 June 2009

In 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2006 favourable returns of Leonids occurred and were observable, at least partly, from Central Europe. We present results on 54 photographically recorded multi-station Leonid fireballs and their probable identification from five individual dust trails or the Leonid Filament. Atmospheric behaviour was studied on the basis of beginning and terminal heights, dynamic pressures, PE coefficients, and light curves. The apparent non-dependence of beginning heights on initial photometric mass suggests the existence of a height $h_{\lim} = 111 \pm 5$ km, which is the height where all Leonids reach an absolute magnitude of about -2$^{\rm m}$. Three different shapes of the light curves were recognized and a recently implemented photometric method was used for the determination of the brightness of the Leonids. The precise heliocentric orbits and geocentric radiants for 34 Leonids with known times of meteor passage are also presented.

Key words: techniques: photometric -- meteors, meteoroids

© ESO 2009