Activity of the Leonid meteor shower on 2009 November 17
Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Ondřejov
2 Institute of Astrophysics, Tajik Academy of Sciences, 734042 Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Accepted: 21 January 2011
Context. The double-station video experiment was established in Tajikistan to confirm the prediction of the Leonid meteor shower in 2009 activity connected with the material that was ejected from the parent comet in 1466 and 1533.
Aims. Modelling of the meteor shower activity has progressed significant in time-precision in recent years. Enhanced activity of the meteor shower provided us with another opportunity to compare observed results and model predictions. We carried out the double-station experiment to obtain meteor counts, masses, atmospheric trajectories, and heliocentric orbits.
Methods. The Leonid meteor shower was observed for the whole night of the predicted maximum. For the double-station meteors the geocentric and heliocentric orbital parameters were calculated. Its activity curve was constructed. The mass of the meteoroids was determined on the bases of the meteor light curves, then the distribution of the masses was studied, and finally the flux of the meteoroids was calculated. The results were compared with other Leonid stream filaments, which were observed within the past decade.
Results. The enhanced meteor activity indeed occurred within the predicted time. The masses were determined for 99 Leonid meteors. The distribution shows that this old stream does not produce very bright meteors as the streams observed in 1998 to 2002 did. The flux of the meteoroids reaches a maximum value of 0.02 ± 0.004 meteoroids per km2 per hour. This value was significantly lower than values observed in previous years. On the other hand, the peak was broader, what is consistent with a scattered, i.e. older filament encounter.
Key words: meteorites, meteors, meteoroids / comets: individual: 55/P/Tempel-Tuttle
© ESO, 2011