The concentration of calcium ions and of free electrons in a meteor coma*
Institute of Astrophysics, Tajik Academy of Sciences, and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Tajikistan Branch, Bukhoro Str. 22, Dushanbe 734042, Tajikistan e-mail: [pbb;gulya]@ac.tajik.net
Accepted: 23 April 2004
Prism spectra are studied of eight bright meteors, belonging to different showers and photographed by small cameras in the Gissar observatory of the Institute of Astrophysics, Tajik Academy of Sciences. Monochromatic light curves for the H and K spectral lines of the ionized calcium doublet are constructed and from the ratio of their intensities at selected points along the meteor trajectories the column NCaII and the volume nCaII concentrations of calcium ions are determined. The obtained values cm-2 and cm-3 are in good agreement with the estimates of calcium abundance obtained by other methods and confirm that there is almost full ionization of calcium atoms in meteor comae. The volume concentration of free electrons cm-3 is defined, and the excitation temperature is calculated along the meteor paths.
Key words: meteors, meteoroids
© ESO, 2004