University of Oulu

Lukianova, R., Kozlovsky, A., & Lester, M. (2018). Recognition of Meteor Showers From the Heights of Ionization Trails. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 123, 7067– 7076.

Recognition of meteor showers from the heights of ionization trails

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Author: Lukianova, Renata1,2; Kozlovsky, Alexander3; Lester, Mark4
Organizations: 1Geophysical Center of Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
2Space Research Institute, Moscow, Russia
3Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland
4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-09-23


Meteoroids constantly enter the Earth’s atmosphere, collide with atmospheric molecules, and heat and ablate in the sufficiently dense atmospheric layers at heights between 70 and 110 km. It is still a problem to recognize properties of the meteor streams among the sporadic background. The meteor radar observations at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (67°22′N, 26°38′E, Finland) during 2008–2017 show that meteoroids of some showers produce ionization trails at altitudes noticeably exceeding those of sporadic meteors. Using the median height of meteor trails and corresponding upper and lower quartiles as a metric, we unambiguously distinguish all northern hemisphere meteor showers with a zenithal hourly rate larger than 12, namely, the Quadrantids, Lyrids, Eta Aquariids, Arietids (or/and Daytime Zeta Perseids), Perseids, Orionids, Leonids, and Geminids. Additionally, signatures of a possible meteor stream during 26–30 January were detected, although identification of this stream is still under question. This new analysis indicates that the origin of the shower meteor trails at higher altitudes is likely due to higher speed and probably lighter or less dense meteoroids belonging to the showers.

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Series: Journal of geophysical research. Space physics
ISSN: 2169-9380
ISSN-E: 2169-9402
ISSN-L: 2169-9380
Volume: 123
Issue: 8
Pages: 7067 - 7076
DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025706
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: R.L. acknowledges support from the Academy of Finland via grant 310348.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 310348
Detailed Information: 310348 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved