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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 1115-1122 (2000)

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Dynamical behavior of meteoroids in the atmosphere derived from very precise photographic records

Z. Ceplecha, J. Borovika and P. Spurný

Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, 25165 Ondejov Observatory, Czech Republic (ceplecha@asu.cas.cz)

Received 18 January 2000 / Accepted 20 March 2000


Basic equations of motion and ablation of a single non-fragmenting body through the atmosphere were solved with ablation and shape-density coefficients as general functions of time. This solution was applied to 22 photographically recorded meteoroids with very precise data available, such meteoroids which did not yield solutions by using the gross-fragmentation model. Extremely high values of the shape density coefficient, K, at the early parts of the luminous trajectory are the main reason for non-existing gross-fragmentation solutions. Reasons for such high values of K are examined in some detail, including analysis of spectral records available for one of the meteoroids. Also positive values of acceleration well outside standard deviations were documented for several meteors. Such cases cannot be interpreted by our model. We suspect that electric forces originating from the atmospheric charges and from meteoroid charges (which were not included in the drag equation) are responsible for the observed very high values of the shape-density coefficient at the early parts of meteoroid trajectories.

Key words: meteors, meteoroids

Send offprint requests to: Z. Ceplecha

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000