Calibration-free quantitative elemental analysis of meteor plasma using reference laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of meteorite samples
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic,
Prague 8, Czech Republic
2 Observatory Valašské Meziříčí, Vsetínská 78, 75701 Valašské Meziříčí, Czech Republic
3 Department of Radiation and Chemical Physics, Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Na Slovance 1999/2, 18221 Prague 8, Czech Republic
4 Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry, Albertov 2030, 12840 Prague 2, Czech Republic
5 Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics Astrophysics Group Cavendish Laboratory, J.J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
6 Biomedical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Ave, Cambridge CB2 OQH, UK
7 National Technical University of Athens, School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, 9 Heroon Polytechneiou str., 15780, Zografou, Athens, Greece
Accepted: 3 December 2017
Aims. We aim to analyse real-time Perseid and Leonid meteor spectra using a novel calibration-free (CF) method, which is usually applied in the laboratory for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopic (LIBS) chemical analysis.
Methods. Reference laser ablation spectra of specimens of chondritic meteorites were measured in situ simultaneously with a high-resolution laboratory echelle spectrograph and a spectral camera for meteor observation. Laboratory data were subsequently evaluated via the CF method and compared with real meteor emission spectra. Additionally, spectral features related to airglow plasma were compared with the spectra of laser-induced breakdown and electric discharge in the air.
Results. We show that this method can be applied in the evaluation of meteor spectral data observed in real time. Specifically, CF analysis can be used to determine the chemical composition of meteor plasma, which, in the case of the Perseid and Leonid meteors analysed in this study, corresponds to that of the C-group of chondrites.
Key words: astrochemistry / techniques: spectroscopic / meteorites, meteors, meteoroids / plasmas
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