The Dynamics of Low-Perihelion Meteoroid Streams

  • Paul A. WiegertEmail author
Chapter 1: Meteor Shower Activity, Forecasting, Dust Orbits


The Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) has collected information on a number of weak meteor showers that have not been well characterized in the literature. A subsample of these showers (1) do not show a strong orbital resemblance to any known comets or asteroids, (2) have highly inclined orbits, (3) are at low perihelion distances (\(\ll 1\) AU) and (4) are at small semimajor axes (<2 AU). Though one might conclude that the absence of a parent object could be the result of its disruption, it is unclear how this relatively inaccessible (dynamically speaking) region of phase space might have been populated by parents in the first place. It will be shown that the Kozai secular resonance and/or Poynting–Robertson drag can modify meteor stream orbits rapidly (on time scales comparable to a precession cycle) and may be responsible for placing some of these streams into their current locations. These same effects are also argued to act on these streams so as to contribute to the high-ecliptic latitude north and south toroidal sporadic meteor sources. There remain some differences between the simple model results presented here and observations, but there may be no need to invoke a substantial population of high-inclination parents for the observed high-inclination meteoroid streams with small perihelion distances.


Meteoroid stream Poynting–Robertson drag Secular resonance Toroidal meteor sources Meteor shower Sporadic meteors 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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