HIGH SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL RESOLUTION OPTICAL SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE OF METEOROID FRAGMENTATION
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A digital image intensified CCD camera with an electronically gated image intensifier was used to produce very short duration images of meteors. The observational system employed a 0.40 m F/4.5 Newtonian telescope to obtain high spatial resolution. A second intensified CCD camera was used to yield height information using parallax. At a typical meteor height one pixel (for the vertically oriented system) corresponded to about 1.1 m. A sampling of 59 mainly sporadic meteors was analyzed. There is clear variability from meteor to meteor, with many meteors (nearly 50%) showing only a small amount of wake, while some meteors (approximately 20%) have the off segments completely filled in.
KeywordsAblation fragmentation high resolution meteor structure wake
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This research has been made possible by support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grants to PGB and RLH, and USRA awards to NRK, KAH and LAR) and the Canada Research Chair program (PGB). The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) provided the funding for the gated digital image intensified system. The London Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and Peter Jedicke provided the telescopes.
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