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The association of Earth-crossing asteroids with meteoroid streams

Abstract

Various points are discussed concerning the association of Earth-crossing asteroids (ECAs) with meteoroid streams, including the drawbacks of the techniques used in some previous work. In comparing the theoretical radiants of any ECA (or, indeed, comet) with observed meteor radiants it is necessary that the orbit used be that appropriate for epochs when the ECA has a node at 1 AU; in each precession cycle of the argument of perihelion (ω) there will be four values rendering a node at the Earth's orbit, so that four showers are expected. Precession of the node will result in sets of showers at different times of year from differentω-precession cycles, whilst for some objects the orbital evolution is more convoluted. For diffuse, low-flux showers a problem is differentiating the meteors associated with any ECA from the sporadic background; a new graphical technique is introduced for illuminating whether such associations exist. A re-evaluation is required of whether ECAs should be thought of as being parent bodies of specific showers. Although this might be the case for some very large ECAs (such as (3200) Phaethon, associated with the Geminid stream), the bodies observed now being extinct or dormant cometary cores, it is suggested that in general the ECAs are better thought of as being large fragments produced in hierarchical cometary disintegrations. That is, some ECAs are just the largest meteoroids in meteoroid streams.

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Steel, D.I. The association of Earth-crossing asteroids with meteoroid streams. Earth Moon Planet 68, 13–30 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00671497

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Key words

  • Earth-crossing asteroids
  • meteoroid streams
  • meteor radiants