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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-61
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2020-61
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Sep 2020

21 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Dynamic Spectra of Small-Mass Meteors

Emma R. Mirizio1, Robert G. Michell2, and Marilia Samara2 Emma R. Mirizio et al.
  • 1University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Abstract. We present dynamic (22 frames per second) observations of optical spectra of small-mass (2–200 mg) meteors observed with an EMCCD imager equipped with a diffraction grating. This observational campaign occurred at Arecibo, Puerto Rico during May 2012, resulting in eight hours of clear data over four nights. We detected 22 meteors with this setup and their spectra showed varying compositions, including evidence of Na, Mg, Fe, and Ca. Spectral lines persisting over multiple frames (up to 23 frames) with sufficient signal, showed evidence for differential ablation. Brighter, more massive meteors had stronger and varied spectral signals, which showed that the temporal and spectral resolution of the faintest meteors approached the noise level of the camera system. Optical and spectral detections of these small-mass meteors provide a greater understanding of the composition of the milligram-sized population of meteors.

Emma R. Mirizio et al.

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Emma R. Mirizio et al.

Emma R. Mirizio et al.

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Short summary
We present findings of mass, velocity, and composition of 22 small-mass meteors detected optically in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Spectral observations of these meteors showed evidence of various metals including Na, Mg, Ca, and Fe. Evidence was also found for differential ablation, the process by which more volatile elements ablate earlier in the meteor's path. These spectral observations of the smallest, faintest meteors greatly improve our understanding of the composition of this meteor population.
We present findings of mass, velocity, and composition of 22 small-mass meteors detected...
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