University of Leicester
Kozlovsky_et_al-2016-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research__Space_Physics.pdf (1.07 MB)

Mesospheric temperature estimation from meteor decay times during Geminids meteor shower

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-07-11, 10:25 authored by Alexander Kozlovsky, Renata Lukianova, Sergey Shalimov, Mark Lester
Meteor radar observations at the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (67° 22′N, 26° 38′E, Finland) indicate that the mesospheric temperature derived from meteor decay times is systematically underestimated by 20–50 K during the Geminids meteor shower which has peak on 13 December. A very good coincidence of the minimum of routinely calculated temperature and maximum of meteor flux (the number of meteors detected per day) was observed regularly on that day in December 2008–2014. These observations are for a specific height-lifetime distribution of the Geminids meteor trails and indicate a larger percentage of overdense trails compared to that for sporadic meteors. A consequence of this is that the routine estimates of mesospheric temperature during the Geminids are in fact underestimates. The observations do, however, indicate unusual properties (e.g., mass, speed, or chemical composition) of the Geminids meteoroids. Similar properties were found also for Quadrantids in January 2009–2015, which like the Geminids has as a parent body an asteroid, but not for other meteor showers.



Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2016, 121 (2), pp. 1669-1679

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics


American Geophysical Union (AGU)



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