Free Access
Issue
A&A
Volume 627, July 2019
Article Number A73
Number of page(s) 8
Section Planets and planetary systems
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201935630
Published online 03 July 2019

© ESO 2019

1 Introduction

Several periodic comets are known to be the parent bodies of meteoroid streams, since we detect the corresponding meteor showers in the Earth’s atmosphere. Probably, a prevailing part of periodic comets are the source of meteoroid material. However, a lot of comets have not been studied in the context of their potential meteoroid stream. In our work, which started about two decades ago (Neslušan 1999), we aim to increase the number of examined comets in this context

In this paper, we assume that the nucleus of long-period comet C/1975 T2 (Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori) could be a source of meteoroid particles. Subsequently, we model the meteoroid stream of the comet and follow its dynamical evolution in course to reveal a real meteor shower related to this comet.

Our paper is similar to recent similar studies of the relationship between various meteoroid streams and their parent bodies, i.e., cometary (Hajdukova et al. 2015; Ishiguro et al. 2015; Kornoš et al. 2015; Rudawska et al. 2016; Abedin et al. 2015, 2017, 2018; Babadzhanov et al. 2017; Jenniskens et al. 2017; Šegon et al. 2017) and lately also asteroidal (Babadzhanov et al. 2015a,b; Jopek 2015; Jopek & Williams 2015; Rudawska & Vaubaillon 2015; Olech et al. 2016; Wiegert et al. 2017; Dumitru et al. 2018; Sergienko et al. 2018a,b; Ye 2018; Guennoun et al. 2019; Ryabova et al. 2019). Some authors have attempted to work out or improve a method of prediction of particular shower, often on the basis of known parent body (Koten & Vaubaillon 2015; Ryabova 2016; Sugar et al. 2017; Vaubaillon 2017; Ryabova & Rendtel 2018a,b). All this effort is highly desirable in the current era when a number of new showers as well as a number of new members of known showers are reported every year (e.g., Jones 2018; Jenniskens et al. 2018; Koukal 2018; Molau et al. 2018a,b,c; Shiba et al. 2018; Toth et al. 2018; Vida et al. 2018a,b; Wisniewski et al. 2018, if we consider only the last year).

Comet C/1975 T2 was observed within 90 days in October 1975. Immediately after the discovery of the comet, V. Guth and I. Hasegawa suggested the possibility of observing meteors associated with the comet passing its descending node on October, 31.4 UT, from the radiant RA = 158deg, Dec = + 47deg and with Vinf = 62 km s−1 (Muirden et al. 1975). However, there were no records of any observation of such a shower in the literature until recently. In 2013, a new meteor shower with similar parameters was announced by Andreić et al. (2013), searching the Croatian Meteor Network and the SonotaCo databases. The shower was named λ-Ursae Majorids and received Number 524 in the International Astronomical Union Meteor Data Center (IAU MDC) list of showers1 (Jopek & Kaňuchová 2014). The shower was confirmed by Jenniskens et al. (2016a). Andreić et al. (2013) also searched for a possible parent body of their newly found shower (No. 524) and proposed the comet C/1975 T2. This comet was also suggested as a parent body of another meteor shower No. 333, October Ursae Majorids, by Gajdoš (2008).

2 Nominal orbit of comet C/1975 T2

In our study, we consider the orbit of comet C/1975 T2 with the orbital elements published in the JPL small-body browser (Giorgini et al. 1996)2. This orbit, referred to epoch 2014 November 14.0 (JDT = 2 456 975.5), has elements: q = 0.838047 au, e = 0.985653, a = 58.4126995 au, ω = 152.0192°, Ω = 216.8053°, i = 118.2332°, and T = 2 442 700.8602 (1975 October 15.3602). An uncertainty of the orbit determination is unknown. Hereinafter, this orbit is referred to as the nominal orbit. The orbital period of the comet in the nominal orbit is 446.00 yr and its aphelion is situated in the distance of 115.9873520 au from the Sun.

The variation of the orbital elements of C/1975 T2 during the last 100 kyr is shown in Fig. 1. In this period, only minor changes of perihelion distance (Fig. 1a), eccentricity (Fig. 1b), and inclination (Fig. 1f) have happened. In Figs. 1d and e, we can observe a decrease (increase) about several degrees in argument of perihelion (longitude of ascending node), respectively. Only the semimajor axis (Fig. 1b) has changed largely. Hence, it is also possible to expect a large change of these orbital elements at the particles of the meteoroid stream of the comet.

The variation of the elements, although not very large, causes a significant change of the position of the ascending node of the orbit as seen in Fig. 2. The position of the descending node is almost the same and this node is situated closely at the Earth’s orbit (green circle in Fig. 2). This circumstance favors an occurrence of a meteor shower.

The minimum distance between the orbits of the comet and Earth is also investigated. The behavior of this distance is shown in Fig. 3 for the period of the last 100 kyr. While the post-perihelion arc is situated in a large heliocentric distance, close to the orbit of Saturn, the pre-perihelion arc is near the Earth’s orbit (≈0.1 au) during the whole investigated period. It implies an existence of only a single meteor shower on Earth.

thumbnail Fig. 1

Behavior of perihelion distance (a), semimajor axis (b), eccentricity (c), argument of perihelion (d), longitude of ascending node (e), and inclination to the ecliptic (f) of the initially nominal orbit of comet C/1975 T2 (Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori). The evolution is reconstructed backward for 100 000 yr. A nongravitational force is ignored.

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3 Stream modeling

3.1 Brief description of theory

The theoretical stream of C/1975 T2 is modeled in the way that was firstly used by Neslušan (1999). The procedure was later slightly modified by Tomko & Neslušan (2012). A detailed description was recently again given in Tomko & Neslušan (2019). Therefore, we only briefly describe its main steps. At first, the orbit of the parent body is integrated in time backwardtothe moment of the perihelion passage of the body, which happened closest to an arbitrarily chosen time tev. At perihelion, a cloud of 10 000 test particles around the parent body is modeled and all this assembly is integrated in time forward, up to the present. At the end of the integration, the particles that move in the orbits that approach the Earth’s orbit within 0.05 au are selected. The characteristics of these particles correspond to those of expected shower and, thus, they enable us to predict the mean characteristics of the expected shower.

In our modeling, the numerical integration was performed via the integrator RA15 (Everhart 1985) within the software package MERCURY3 (Chambers 1999; Chambers & Murison 2000). We took the gravitational perturbations of eight planets, Mercury to Neptune, into account.

In the models, the dynamics of the particles is assumed to be influenced by the Poynting–Robertson (P–R, hereinafter) effect. The term P–R effect is used to refer to the action of radial electromagnetic radiation pressure and the velocity-dependent effects on the meteoroid particles. Specifically, we used the formulas published by Klačka (2014).

The strength of the P–R effect is given by parameter β, which is the ratio of the accelerations due to both the P–R effect and the gravity by the Sun. This parameter depends on the properties of particles, such as the size (geometrical cross section), density, light scattering efficiency (then on albedo and light absorption ability), and mass. In the case of meteoroids, these properties are rather uncertain. So, we rather regard β as a free parameter and search, as far as possible, for its value to achieve the best agreement between the predicted and observed characteristics of found filaments of the investigated stream related to the considered parent body.

We created a series of models for various combinations of specific values of evolutionary time tev and parameter β. In reality, parameter β ranges in a wider interval of values since the stream consists of the particles of various sizes and densities. As well, the particles are released in various times, therefore their evolutionary time must be different and can also acquire the values from a wider interval. Hence, the particular model we created does not represent a whole stream. The model of a whole stream is a composition of partial models, which give a good prediction of the corresponding real showers.

In more detail, we created the models for all combinations of values tev = 10, 20, 40, and 80 kyr and β = 10−11 (this value implies no P–R effect, in fact), 0.0001, 0.001, 0.003, 0.005, 0.007, and 0.009. We also calculated the models characterized with (tev, β) equal to (10 kyr, 0.006), (20 kyr, 0.008), (40 kyr, 0.008), and (80 kyr, 0.008) to find a critical upper value of β, for given tev, for which the stream is completely deflected from the vicinity of the Earth’s orbit and no shower is predicted.

thumbnail Fig. 2

Positions of ascending (red points) and descending (blue points) nodes of the orbit of comet C/1975 T2 during the last 100 000 yr. The green circle indicates the orbit of the Earth.

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thumbnail Fig. 3

Evolution of the minimum distance between the orbital arcs of comet C/1975 T2 and Earth’s orbit from time 100 000 yr before the present to the present. The minimum distance of post-perihelion (pre-perihelion) arc is shown by the red (blue) curve.

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3.2 Results of modeling

It appears that the stream of C/1975 T2 crosses the orbit of our planet only in its single section, therefore only a single observable meteor shower, originating from this comet, is predicted. The mean geophysical characteristics of this shower are given in Table 1 and the orbital elements of its mean orbit in Table 2.

We note that the shower is predicted to be rather compact and has a high geocentric velocity that is 62–63 km s−1. Its radiant area is elongated, in time of corresponding to the mean solar longitude, about 80° from the Sun. Hence, it can also be observed on the night sky, although it is not a typical night-time shower. Themean solar longitude of the shower as predicted by individual models ranges from 208° to 215° (this corresponds to October 21 to 28).

The shower was predicted in the model with every considered evolutionary time, tev, from 10 to 80 kyr. For each considered evolutionary time, the large particles, not detectably influenced by the P–R effect, could come to the vicinity of the Earth’s orbit and, thus, collide with this planet. In Fig. 4a, we can see that there is practically no shift of the radiant area with the increasing evolutionary time. The size of the area is, however, increasing with increasing tev.

The upper value of P–R-effect strength, β, is found to be 0.005, 0.007, 0.008, and 0.008 in models for tev 10, 20, 40, and 80 kyr, respectively. As seen in Fig. 4b in the case of models for tev = 20 kyr, the radiants are slightly moved to lower values of right ascension by the P–R effect. A similar trend is found for the other evolutionarytimes.

4 Identification of the predicted shower with its real counterpart

The dynamical characteristics of the predicted shower were used to start a search for the corresponding real shower. We searched the real shower (1) in the databases of meteor orbits and (2) in the IAU MDC list of all showers.

4.1 Separation of real shower from databases

We searched for a corresponding shower in the following meteor databases: (1) the IAU MDC photographic database, version-2013(Porubčan et al. 2011; Neslušan et al. 2014), (2) the IAU MDC Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) video database (Gural 2011; Jenniskens et al. 2011, 2016b,a,c; Jenniskens & Nénon 2016), (3) the 2007−2015 SonotaCo video (SonotaCo 2009, 2016), the EDMOND video (Kornoš et al. 2014a,b), and (5) the radio-meteor database (Hawkins 1963; Sekanina & Southworth 1975; Lindblad 2003, priv. comm.). These databases contain 4873, 110 521, 208 826, 145 830, and 62 907 records on meteor orbits and geophysical data, respectively. We briefly refer to these databases with the capital letters F, C, S, E, and R, respectively.

To select the meteors of searched shower from the given database, we used the “break-point method” (Neslušan et al. 1995, 2013). We briefly describe the main steps of the method, which is based on an analysis of the dependence of the number of selected shower meteors on the limiting value of the Southworth-Hawkins (Southworth & Hawkins 1963) DSH discriminant, Dlim.

In the first step, we calculate the values DSH between the mean orbit of predicted shower and every meteor in the database considered. If DSH is smaller than a chosen limiting value, Dlim, then the meteor is regarded as the member of the shower. Then, we calculate the mean orbit of the separated group of shower meteors and, in the second step, DSH between this new mean orbit and orbit of every meteor in the database is calculated. And, considering the meteors separated in this step, we again calculate their mean orbit, which is again the reference orbit for the new selection, etc. We terminate this iteration procedure, when the difference between two successive mean orbits is negligible. In the final separation, we obtain N shower meteors.

The above sketched iteration procedure is performed for a series of limiting values Dlim, usually 0.01, 0.02, 0.03,..., 0.50. Having the corresponding numbers of separated meteors, we can construct the dependence N = N(Dlim). If the corresponding real shower was recorded in the database, the dependence exhibits a convex behavior followed by a constant or only moderately increasing behavior – a plateau. The value of Dlim corresponding to the beginning of the plateau is the most appropriate to separate the densest core of the shower from the database. In other words, the actual members of the shower in our search are the meteors separated within the iteration procedure using this critical Dlim.

In reality, a separated shower can be low-numerous and dispersed and the plateau can be short and hardly discernible. Unfortunately, this also occurred in the case of the real shower related to C/1975 T2. We show the N = N(Dlim)-dependence obtained in course to separate a real shower from the CAMS database in Fig. 5. This shower corresponds to the prediction by model with tev = 40 kyr and β = 0.003. A small plateau begins at Dlim = 0.13. It is pointed out by an arrow. Using value Dlim = 0.13, a relatively small number, 19, of the shower meteors were separated. A larger number of shower meteors could be separated by using Dlim = 0.20, at which the curve of N = N(Dlim)-dependence is again, a little, broken. This second modification of obviously the same shower consists of 26 meteors.

A similar situation could be observed at the separations from the SonotaCo and EDMOND video databases. In total, we separated six modifications of the single real shower from these data sets, that is, one less and one more numerous modification from each data set. The mean geophysical parameters of these modifications are given in Table 3 and mean orbits in Table 4. The positions of radiants of meteors in all modifications are shown in Fig. 4c.

We attempted to separate the real shower from the IAU MDC photographic and radio-meteor databases as well. In the photographic data, three or less meteors were separated for Dlim < 0.49 (or for Dlim < 0.44 in few models with a large β). This number is too small to regard the group of separated meteors as a shower. And, a more numerous shower (consisting typically of 13 meteors), separated for the unacceptably high value of Dlim = 0.49 (also Dlim = 0.44), was too different to be related to its predicted counterpart. The value of Dlim should not exceed ~0.25 for a well-defined shower.

A similar N = N(Dlim)-dependence was observed in all separations from the radio-meteor data. The number of separated shower meteors did not exceed three up to Dlim = 0.34. The shower separated at the high value of Dlim = 0.35, again, was unlike to any predicted shower. We did not regard it as related to C/1975 T2.

The iteration procedure might sometimes significantly change the mean orbit of the separated shower from its prediction. After the separation, it is therefore necessary to evaluate a measure of relationship between the predicted, theoretical, and separated real shower. We did this evaluation suggesting and performing the following empirical procedure. We calculated the mean value of the Southworth-Hawkins D-discriminant, ⟨Dmj ⟩, between the mean orbit of real shower and each orbit of its members and its statistical uncertainty, σD. We suppose that the orbit of any member of the predicted shower should not differ from the orbit of at least one meteor of real shower more than about ⟨Dmj ⟩ + σD, when the diversity is evaluated with the help of the DSH criterion. We added σD, since some meteors of the shower itself at the border of its orbital phase space would not differ within ⟨Dmj ⟩ alone. Subsequently, we calculated DSH between every pair of the orbits of both theoretical particle and meteor of real shower. If DSH ≤ (⟨Dmj ⟩ + σD) at least once, then the particle of predicted shower is regarded as matching the real shower. The values of ⟨Dmj ⟩ with their sigmas for the separated modifications of real showers are given in the last column of Table 3.

Let us denote the number of the matching particles as nyes and the number of the other particles as nno, where the sum nyes + nno equals the total number of the particles of predicted shower. The measure of the agreement of corresponding theoretical and real showers is then defined as (1)

The values of η for the individual models are given in Table 5. This information in a graphical form is illustrated in Fig. 6. Likely, we can regard the agreement as insufficient if η < 0.5. In Table 5, we can see that only the model for tev = 80 kyr and β = 0.008 does not match the real meteor shower, in any of its modifications, related to the stream of C/1975 T2. Generally, the match is worse for high β-values as well as a high evolutionary time.

Table 1

Geophysical parameters of the parts of predicted shower.

Table 2

Mean orbital elements of the parts of predicted shower.

thumbnail Fig. 4

Positions of predicted radiants in various models and radiants of real meteors. Panel a: positions in the models for the P–R-effect parameter β = 10−11 and a series of evolutionary times, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kyr are shown. Panel b: positions in the models for the evolutionary time of 20 kyr and series of parameters β equal to 10−11, 0.0001, 0.001, 0.003, 0.005, and 0.007 can be seen. Panel c: radiant positions of the meteors constituting the real shower, related to comet C/1975 T2, which was separated in six modifications from three catalogs, are shown. A given kind of symbol shows the positions of radiants in one modification.

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thumbnail Fig. 5

Dependence of the number of real-shower meteors, N, on the limiting value of the Southworth-Hawkins D-discriminant, Dlim. The meteors were separated from the CAMS video database. There seems to be two plateaus. Their beginnings (break points) are indicated with the arrows. The corresponding values of Dlim were used to separate two modifications of the shower.

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thumbnail Fig. 6

Measure of agreement, η, between the predicted parts of shower related to C/1975 T2 and six modifications of the corresponding real shower. Each of the predicted parts is characterized with tev and β (having the same meaning as in Tables 1 and 2). The modifications were separated from C, S, and E databases (see Tables 3 and 4). Panels a and b: dependencies of η on tev and β, respectively, are shown. For the sake of better transparency, the positions of symbols for S (E) catalog are artificially shifted left (right) relatively to their actual values. The symbols of given kind show the value of η evaluating the agreement between the given modification of real shower (C-1, C-2, S-1, S-2, E-1, or E-2; see legend in the plot) and all predicted parts of shower (as listed in Tables 1 and 2).

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4.2 Identification of real shower in the IAU MDC list

The predicted shower was further identified with its real counterpart in the IAU MDC list of all showers (Jopek & Kaňuchová 2014). Since only the mean characteristics of the showers are available in the list, we identified the theoretical predictions, by the individual models, to the shower in the list using the DSH discriminant. In more detail, we calculated the value of DSH for every pair of orbits, where the first component of the pair was the mean orbit of predicted shower and the second component was the orbit in the list.

It appeared that the predicted shower, in all models, was identified to the established IAU MDC shower λ-Ursae Majorids, No. 524. In the IAU MDC list, version we used, this shower was given in three modifications (Andreić et al. 2013; Jenniskens et al. 2016a, 2018). The mean geophysical parameters of these modifications are given in Table 3 and mean orbits in Table 4.

At the identification, the value of DSH varied from 0.089 to 0.195 (modification by Andreić et al. 2013), from 0.101 to 0.232 (modification by Jenniskenset al. 2016a), or from 0.087 to 0.222 (modification by Jenniskens et al. 2018); the agreement between the predictions and this modification is bad only in the case of the models with the high values of β. No other shower from the IAU MDC list was pointed out up to the unacceptably high DSH-value of 0.407.

It is, perhaps, worth noting that the λ-Ursae Majorids were separated from the EDMOND database by Rudawska et al. (2015) in their search for all showers recorded in these data sets by a newly suggested method of separation.

Table 3

Mean geophysical parameters of the real meteor shower related to the stream of comet C/1975 T2.

Table 4

Mean orbital elements of the real meteor shower related to the stream of comet C/1975 T2.

5 Conclusions

Assuming that the meteoroids were released from the surface of the long-periodic comet C/1975 T2 (Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori), we modeled its meteoroid stream and this modeling resulted in a prediction of one meteor shower observable in the Earth’s atmosphere. This shower was identified with λ-Ursae Majorids, No. 524 in the IAU MDC list of the established showers. Thus, we confirmed the result of Andreić et al. (2013) and Jenniskens et al. (2016a) who found this shower earlier, also in the video-meteor data. Our modeling also confirmed the relationship between the shower and comet C/1975 T2 (Andreić et al. 2013).

The predicted eight-day activity of the shower, from October 21 to 28, was not confirmed by observations, which imply only a five-day (possibly only two-day) activity, from October 27 to 31 (or October 27 to 28).

The part of orbital corridor of the shower in the terrestrial-planet region, which passes in the vicinity of the Earth’s orbit, has not changed much during the at least last 80 millennia. This is the reason why C/1975 T2 produces only a single shower in the Earth’s atmosphere. In conclusion, comet C/1975 T2 is the parent body of single, established shower, λ-Ursae Majorids, No. 524.

Table 5

Measure of agreement, η, between the predicted parts of shower related with C/1975 T2 and the modifications of corresponding real shower.

Acknowledgements

This article was supported by the realization of the Project ITMS No. 26220120029, based on the supporting operational Research and development program financed from the European Regional Development Fund. The work was also supported, in part, by the VEGA – the Slovak Grant Agency for Science, grant No. 2/0037/18, and by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV-16-0148.

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All Tables

Table 1

Geophysical parameters of the parts of predicted shower.

Table 2

Mean orbital elements of the parts of predicted shower.

Table 3

Mean geophysical parameters of the real meteor shower related to the stream of comet C/1975 T2.

Table 4

Mean orbital elements of the real meteor shower related to the stream of comet C/1975 T2.

Table 5

Measure of agreement, η, between the predicted parts of shower related with C/1975 T2 and the modifications of corresponding real shower.

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

Behavior of perihelion distance (a), semimajor axis (b), eccentricity (c), argument of perihelion (d), longitude of ascending node (e), and inclination to the ecliptic (f) of the initially nominal orbit of comet C/1975 T2 (Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori). The evolution is reconstructed backward for 100 000 yr. A nongravitational force is ignored.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2

Positions of ascending (red points) and descending (blue points) nodes of the orbit of comet C/1975 T2 during the last 100 000 yr. The green circle indicates the orbit of the Earth.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 3

Evolution of the minimum distance between the orbital arcs of comet C/1975 T2 and Earth’s orbit from time 100 000 yr before the present to the present. The minimum distance of post-perihelion (pre-perihelion) arc is shown by the red (blue) curve.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 4

Positions of predicted radiants in various models and radiants of real meteors. Panel a: positions in the models for the P–R-effect parameter β = 10−11 and a series of evolutionary times, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kyr are shown. Panel b: positions in the models for the evolutionary time of 20 kyr and series of parameters β equal to 10−11, 0.0001, 0.001, 0.003, 0.005, and 0.007 can be seen. Panel c: radiant positions of the meteors constituting the real shower, related to comet C/1975 T2, which was separated in six modifications from three catalogs, are shown. A given kind of symbol shows the positions of radiants in one modification.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 5

Dependence of the number of real-shower meteors, N, on the limiting value of the Southworth-Hawkins D-discriminant, Dlim. The meteors were separated from the CAMS video database. There seems to be two plateaus. Their beginnings (break points) are indicated with the arrows. The corresponding values of Dlim were used to separate two modifications of the shower.

Open with DEXTER
In the text
thumbnail Fig. 6

Measure of agreement, η, between the predicted parts of shower related to C/1975 T2 and six modifications of the corresponding real shower. Each of the predicted parts is characterized with tev and β (having the same meaning as in Tables 1 and 2). The modifications were separated from C, S, and E databases (see Tables 3 and 4). Panels a and b: dependencies of η on tev and β, respectively, are shown. For the sake of better transparency, the positions of symbols for S (E) catalog are artificially shifted left (right) relatively to their actual values. The symbols of given kind show the value of η evaluating the agreement between the given modification of real shower (C-1, C-2, S-1, S-2, E-1, or E-2; see legend in the plot) and all predicted parts of shower (as listed in Tables 1 and 2).

Open with DEXTER
In the text

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