“Melting” meteor

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  • #574225
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    When I started to use 12mm lenses a number of years ago the larger image scale began to show some meteors that appeared to “melt” out of existence. These just faded away. I finally captured a decent spectrum of one of these the other night. Perhaps unsurprisingly a stony characteristic was revealed, the main elements being Mg and Na with Fe lines being nicely resolved.

    There just might be the hint of some fragmentation seen in the video but it’s difficult to be sure as the cropped video also reveals the noise! Whatever the source the meteoroid must have had a weak or fractured structure to fall apart in this manner.

    Perhaps a “dustball” as they have been called.

    https://youtu.be/XLveGtJsvk4

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    #580466
    Alex Pratt
    Participant

    Hi Bill,

    That’s a nice example of this type of dissolving meteor trail. I’ve had very cloudy skies and the only meteor recorded so far this year by my Leeds_N camera looks to be your event!

    From my viewpoint the meteor travelled from upper right to lower left.

     Does this ground map approximately match your alignment?

    Single station analysis of my capture suggests it was an Ursid meteor. I’ll ask if it was recorded by any other stations in the NEMETODE network then we can confirm its radiant and orbit.

    A great start to the New Year.

         Alex.

    #580467
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    That’s looking good. It is indeed an excellent start to the year. I had hoped the cloud would break for tonight’s Quadrantid’s but it’s looking absolutely solid. Not a breath of wind.

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    #580468
    Jeremy Shears
    Participant

    Nice capture Bill. Sadly, not caught on my video cameras.

    Was just checking both cameras and I see it cleared here after midnight last night, allowing a few Quadrantids to be captured.

    Jeremy

    #580469
    Jack Martin
    Participant

    Bill,

    Thanks for an interesting video and spectrum to show what its composed of.

    Regards,

    Jack

    Essex UK

    #580473
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    Thanks, Having caught quite a number of this type I was always on the lookout for a spectrum of one. They have definite mechanical/fragmentation properties and I was hoping it would be somehow different it spectroscopic composition. Maybe very high or very low in some element but it doesn’t seem so with what I have here. The other possibility is that there are some IR features (which I didn’t get with this example) that may show the differences. perhaps very strong O and H lines indicating the possibility some ice content….

    However, it is yet another example of the power of this technique that we can even ask these questions!

    Clear skies and all the best for 2019

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    PS will you be attending the astrofest in February? perhaps we can meet for a drink.

    #580474
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    Thanks, I have always found it intruiging that, on varying scales, this is how we came to be. All that iron, magnesium, calcium etc that’s in us!

    All the best for 2019.

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    #580480
    Michael O’Connell
    Participant

    Bill,

    Great results as always.

    What we need next is a 100mm lens on a tracking mount….

    But seriously, have you ever considered building a tracking station?

    Regards,

    Michael.

    #580495
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    Yes (ish)… Full tracking is way beyond my progamming skills but I think using a rotating mirror system one could build something that would at least “slow” them down along one axis. That would certainly help but then there is still the coverage issue.

    Probably my only regret leaving the university is not having access to an optical lab and workshop where I can experiment anymore.

    cheers,

    Bill.

    #582011
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Hi,

    I captured another remarkable “melting” meteor last night. Meteor seems to fragment into a “cloud” of material then trail behind the faster moving meteor head.

    https://youtu.be/V7_aYpJ36MU

    Cheers,

    Bill.

    #583134
    Bill Ward
    Participant

    Since I first discovered these with my narrow field of view experiment I’m now seeing them fairly regularly. This is a short video from the other night with three good examples. The stretch is pretty harsh but the meteor head can be seen to elongate and disintegrate as it ablates. The last of the three takes over two seconds to fully abalate.

    https://youtu.be/Ptw1IgDNRos

    Cheers,

    Bill.

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