Meteor Reflections

When meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and begin to burn up, a trail of ionised particles is created in the ‘E’ layer of the atmosphere. This trail can persist for several seconds and will reflect Radio Waves. The frequencies that can be reflected by any particular ion trail are determined by the intensity of the ionisation which is related to the size of the meteor. Typically, the frequency range is generally between 20 MHz and 150 MHz occasionally reflecting signals at upto 500MHz if the intensity is strong enough. Generally lower frequency transmissions will be reflected longer and much stronger than higher frequencies.

It is very easy to listen for meteor reflections.A commercial VHF FM broadcast receiver tuned to a frequency at about 88MHz (but such that a local station cannot be heard) with a moderately sized (5 element) Yagi aerial pointed skywards.



Sky at Night meteor scatter by Paul Hyde

A number of articles by Dr David Morgan

Detection of Meteors by RADAR.

Identifying VLF Transients from Meteors Part 1

Identifying VLF Transients from Meteors Part 2

The Generation of VLF Emissions by Meteors

A Preliminary Note on Detection of Aircraft VOR Navigation Beacons

Meteor Radar Using SDR Radio

Antennas for Meteor Radar

BRAMS Meteor Radar

Techniques for using the RTL Dongle for Detecting Meteors


Meteor & Colorgramme website

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