Na rich meteor spectra

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    Bill Ward

    I had some good weather over the Perseid meteor shower this year but the best results actually came from three fireballs which were all NON Perseids!

    “Sodium rich” meteors are quite infrequent but well established observationally however…

    On the the evening of the 13th Aug I captured this spectrum… it’s been contrast stretched and reduced in size to make the comparison a bit more direct.

    What can’t really be seen in this still composite image is a faint “thermal” continuum spanning the lines and extending some way towards the right. It was quite a slow meteor but the pattern of lines is very distinct. The brightest line on the right is sodium. The other lines are primarily iron.

    Reviewing past spectra I found I had captured this one six years ago.

    Unfortunately I don’t have confirmed orbits but these two are made from the very same stuff! Interestingly in the video of the second one there is also the same thermal background and an identical little flare.

    The class grows by 2!

    You certainly need patience for this…   ; – ))



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