University of Oulu

Vierinen J, Aslaksen T, Chau JL, Gritsevich M, Gustavsson B, Kastinen D, Kero J, Kozlovsky A, Kværna T, Midtskogen S, Näsholm SP, Ulich T, Vegum K and Lester M (2022), Multi-instrument observations of the Pajala fireball: Origin, characteristics, and atmospheric implications. Front. Astron. Space Sci. 9:1027750. doi: 10.3389/fspas.2022.1027750

Multi-instrument observations of the Pajala fireball : origin, characteristics, and atmospheric implications

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Author: Vierinen, Juha1,2; Aslaksen, Torstein1; Chau, Jorge Luis3;
Organizations: 1University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
2Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland
3Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Rostock, Kühlungsborn, Germany
4Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI), Espoo, Finland
5Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden
6NORSAR, Lillestrøm, Norway
7Norwegian Meteor Network, Oslo, Norway
8Tromsø Astronomy Union, Tromsø, Norway
9Leicester University, Leicester, United Kingdom
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 47.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-02


Meteor observations provide information about Solar System constituents and their influx onto Earth, their interaction processes in the atmosphere, as well as the neutral dynamics of the upper atmosphere. This study presents optical, radar, and infrasound measurements of a daytime fireball that occurred on 4 December 2020 at 13:30 UTC over Northeast Sweden. The fireball was recorded with two video cameras, allowing a trajectory determination to be made. The orbital parameters are compatible with the Northern Taurid meteor shower. The dynamic mass estimate based on the optical trajectory was found to be 0.6–1.7 kg, but this estimate can greatly vary from the true entry mass significantly due to the assumptions made. The meteor trail plasma was observed with an ionosonde as a sporadic E-like ionogram trace that lasted for 30 min. Infrasound emissions were detected at two sites, having propagation times consistent with a source location at an altitude of 80–90 km. Two VHF specular meteor radars observed a 6 minute long non-specular range spread trail echo as well as a faint head echo. Combined interferometric range-Doppler analysis of the meteor trail echoes at the two radars, allowed estimation of the mesospheric horizontal wind altitude profile, as well as tracking of the gradual deformation of the trail over time due to a prevailing neutral wind shear. This combined analysis indicates that the radar measurements of long-lived non-specular range-spread meteor trails produced by larger meteoroids can be used to measure the meteor radiant by observing the line traveled by the meteor. Furthermore, a multistatic meteor radar observation of these types of events can be used to estimate mesospheric neutral wind altitude profiles.

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Series: Frontiers in astronomy and space sciences
ISSN: 2296-987X
ISSN-E: 2296-987X
ISSN-L: 2296-987X
Volume: 9
Article number: 1027750
DOI: 10.3389/fspas.2022.1027750
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: JV acknowledges support from the Tromsø Research Foundation. SN acknowledges support from the project Middle Atmosphere Dynamics: Exploiting Infrasound Using a Multidisciplinary Approach at High Latitudes (MADEIRA), funded by the Research Council of Norway basic research programme FRIPRO/FRINATEK under Contract No. 274377. MG acknowledges the Academy of Finland project no. 325806 (PlanetS).
Dataset Reference: The datasets presented in this study can be found in online repositories. The names of the repository/repositories and accession number(s) can be found in the article/Supplementary Material. The video camera and meteor radar data can be obtained from Zenodo (Vierinen, 2022). The IS37 infrasound station is part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Data access can be granted to third parties and researchers through the virtual Data Exploitation Centre (vDEC) of the International Data Center: The SDK station is part of the infrasound station network run by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. The raw data time series for SDK can be accessed via the IRF data portal:
Copyright information: © 2022 Vierinen, Aslaksen, Chau, Gritsevich, Gustavsson, Kastinen, Kero, Kozlovsky, Kværna, Midtskogen, Näsholm, Ulich, Vegum and Lester. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.