Characteristics of Fe ablation trails observed during the 1998 Leonid meteor shower

Xinzhao Chu, Weilin Pan, George Papen, Chester S. Gardner, Gary Swenson, Peter Jenniskens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eighteen Fe ablation trails were observed during the 17/18 Nov 1998 Leonid meteor shower with an air-borne Fe lidar aboard the NSF/NCAR Electra aircraft over Okinawa. The average altitude of the 18 trails from the high velocity (72 km/s) Leonid meteors, 95.67 ± 0.93 km, is approximately 6.7 km higher than previously observed for slower (~30 km/s) sporadic meteors. This height difference is consistent with the assumption that meteors ablate when atmospheric drag reaches a critical threshold. The average age of the Fe trails, determined by a diffusion model, is 10.1 min. The youngest ages were observed below 92 km and above 98 km where chemistry and diffusion dominate, respectively. The average abundance of the trails is 10% of the abundance of the background Fe layer. Observations suggest that the 1998 Leonid shower did not have a significant impact on the abundance of the background Fe layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1807-1810
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume27
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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