EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 389, Number 2, July II 2002
Page(s) 680 - 691
Section The solar system
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020672
Published online 27 June 2002

A&A 389, 680-691 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020672

Modeling the photometric and dynamical behavior of Super-Schmidt meteors in the Earth's atmosphere

L. R. Bellot Rubio1, 2, M. J. Martínez González3, L. Ruiz Herrera3, J. Licandro4, D. Martínez Delgado2, P. Rodríguez Gil2 and M. Serra-Ricart2

1  Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, 79104, Freiburg, Germany
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3  Dept. de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
4  Centro Galileo Galilei and Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, La Palma, Spain

(Received 15 March 2002 / Accepted 29 April 2002 )

Faint meteors observed with Super-Schmidt cameras are re-examined in order to assess whether their dynamical and photometric behavior can be described by means of the single body theory. Velocities, decelerations and magnitudes are fitted simultaneously to synthetic curves resulting from integration of the appropriate set of differential equations. The parameters determined by this procedure are the ablation coefficient, the shape-density coefficient and the preatmospheric mass of each individual meteoroid. It turns out that 73% of the meteors analyzed here (with magnitudes in the range from +2.5 to -5) are reasonably well described by this theory, suggesting that they did not undergo significant fragmentation during their atmospheric flight. Nevertheless, we identify some systematic differences between observed and theoretical light curves of meteors for which the fit is good. Meteoroid bulk densities are estimated from the retrieved shape-density coefficients. The distributions of individual values are broad, indicating that objects of different densities coexist within the same meteoroid population. The average density is found to be 2400, 1400, and 400 kg m -3 for A-type, B-type and C-type meteoroids, respectively. These results do not confirm the large values determined from quasicontinuous fragmentation models.

Key words: meteors, meteoroids

Offprint request: L. R. Bellot Rubio, lbellot@kis.uni-freiburg.de

© ESO 2002

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