Modeling the dynamical and photometric behavior of faint meteors in the Earth's atmosphere

Bellot Rubio, Luis R.; Martínez González, María Jesús; Ruiz Herrera, Lola; Licandro, Javier; Martínez Delgado, David; Rodríguez Gil, Pablo; Serra-Ricart, Miquel
Referencia bibliográfica

In: Proceedings of the Meteoroids 2001 Conference, 6 - 10 August 2001, Kiruna, Sweden. Ed.: Barbara Warmbein. ESA SP-495, Noordwijk: ESA Publications Division, ISBN 92-9092-805-0, 2001, p. 525 - 529

Fecha de publicación:
Faint meteors observed with Super-Schmidt cameras are re-examined in order to assess whether their dynamical and photometric behavior can be described by means of the single body theory. Velocities, decelerations and magnitudes are fitted simultaneously to synthetic curves resulting from integration of the appropriate set of differential equations. The parameters determined by this procedure are the ablation coefficient, the shape-density coefficient and the preatmospheric mass of the meteoroids. It turns out that 64% of the meteors analyzed here are reasonably well described by this theory, suggesting that they did not undergo significant fragmentation during their atmospheric flight. We identify some systematic differences between observed and theoretical light curves of meteors for which the fit is good. From the retrieved shape-density coefficients we derive meteoroid bulk densities. The average density turns out to be 1.0 g cm-3, with individual values ranging from 0.2 g cm-3 to 1.4 g cm-3. This work represent a first step toward the analysis of low-light level video observations of very small meteoroids.