Lecturer: Johan Kero (IRF)
Date: 2016-09-29 10:00
Place: Aniara

The October Draconid meteor shower

Johan Kero
Swedish Institute of Space Physics

The annual October Draconid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes debris filaments from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. The shower sometimes give rise to intense outburst rates of up to 10 000 visual meteors per hour. A moderate outburst in 2011 was successfully predicted by meteor shower forecasting models and monitored on a global scale by multiple observational techniques. The first European airborne meteor observation campaign was organized in order to test the prediction. It was deployed at Kiruna airport to enable a flight path with dark skies during the whole expected activity period.

Although models predicted no strong visually detectable Draconid activity in the following years, radar observations have shown that the peak activity in 2012 was higher than during the outburst in 2011. Based on MU radar observations, we find that the unexpected outburst in 2012 consisted of meteoroids with lower masses (fainter meteors) than that in 2011. It is an important finding that meteor outbursts are detectable also using improved head echo observation techniques, sensitive to small-mass meteoroids. Multi-instrument data is necessary to extend our knowledge about the mass transfer from meteoroid parent bodies to Earth.

Created 2015-11-06 10:31:43 by Mats Holmström
Last changed 2016-09-13 07:57:00 by Mats Holmström