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Title: Discovery of a new branch of the Taurid meteoroid stream as a real source of potentially hazardous bodies
Author: P. Spurný, J. Borovicka, H. Mucke, J. Svoren

Taurid meteor shower produces prolonged but usually low activity every October and November. In some years, however, the activity is significantly enhanced. Previous studies based on long-term activity statistics concluded that the enhancement is caused by a swarm of meteoroids locked in 7:2 resonance with Jupiter. Here we present precise data on 144 Taurid fireballs observed by new digital cameras of the European Fireball Network in the enhanced activity year 2015. Orbits of 113 fireballs show common characteristics and form together a well defined orbital structure, which we call new branch. We found that this branch is characterized by longitudes of perihelia lying between 155.9-160° and latitudes of perihelia between 4.2-5.7°. Semimajor axes are between 2.23-2.28 AU and indeed overlap with the 7:2 resonance. Eccentricities are in wide range 0.80-0.90. The orbits form a concentric ring in the inner solar system. The masses of the observed meteoroids were in a wide range from 0.1 g to more than 1000 kg. We found that all meteoroids larger than 300 g were very fragile, while those smaller than 30 g were much more compact. Based on orbital characteristics, we argue that asteroids 2015 TX24 and 2005 UR, both of diameters 200-300 meters, are direct members of the new branch. It is therefore very likely that the new branch contains also numerous still not discovered objects of decameter or even larger size. Since asteroids of sizes of tens to hundreds meters pose a treat to the ground even if they are intrinsically weak, impact hazard increases significantly when the Earth encounters the Taurid new branch every few years. Further studies leading to better description of this real source of potentially hazardous objects, which can be large enough to cause significant regional or even continental damage on the Earth, are therefore extremely important.

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Taurid meteoroid stream
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Title: 2P/Encke, the Taurid complex NEOs and the Maribo and Sutter's Mill meteorites
Author: C. Tubiana, C. Snodgrass, R. Michelsen, H. Haack, H. Boehnhardt, A. Fitzsimmons, I. P. Williams

The Taurid meteoroid stream has long been linked with 2P/Encke owing to a good match of their orbital elements, even though the comet's activity is not strong enough to explain the number of observed meteors. Various small NEOs have been discovered with orbits that can be linked to 2P and the Taurid meteoroid stream. Maribo and Sutter's Mill are CM type carbonaceous chondrites that fell in Denmark on Jan 17, 2009 and Apr 22, 2012, respectively. Their pre-atmospheric orbits place them in the middle of the Taurid meteoroid stream, which raises the intriguing possibility that comet 2P could be the parent body of CM chondrites. To investigate whether a relationship between comet 2P, the Taurid complex associated NEOs, and CM chondrites exists, we performed photometric and spectroscopic studies of these objects in the visible wavelength range. We observed 2P and 10 NEOs on Aug 2, 2011 with FORS at the VLT. Images in the R filter, used to investigate the possible presence of cometary activity around the nucleus of 2P and the NEOs, show that no resolved coma is present. None of the FORS spectra show the 700 nm absorption feature due to hydrated minerals that is seen in the CM chondrite meteorites. All objects show featureless spectra with moderate reddening slopes at lambda<800nm. Apart for 2003 QC10 and 1999 VT25, which show a flatter spectrum, the spectral slope of the observed NEOs is compatible with that of 2P. However, most of the NEOs show evidence of a silicate absorption in lower S/N data at lambda>800nm, which is not seen in 2P, which suggests that they are not related. Despite similar orbits, we find no spectroscopic evidence for a link between 2P, the Taurid complex NEOs and the Maribo and Sutter's Mill meteorites. However, we cannot rule out a connection to the meteorites either, as the spectral differences may be caused by secondary alteration of the surfaces of the NEOs.

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Northern Taurids meteor maximum at 17:00 UT, 6th November 2014

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In November, 1833, there was a significant display of meteors that generated great interest among all peoples of North America. This display is depicted as the significant event of the winter of 1833/1834 as a man with many stars above his head. A Sioux calendar history depicts the same event for that winter.
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Northern Taurids meteor maximum at 11:00 UT, 6th November 2013

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Fireballs from Taurus

A fireball that blazed brighter than the full moon as it streaked across New Mexico's sky on 9 November may be related to Comet Encke and perhaps to the object that exploded over Tunguska in 1908, flattening more than 2,000 sq km of Siberian forest.
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Northern Taurids Meteor Maximum in constellation Taurus on the 6th November, 2012 



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Taurids Meteor Shower Peak

Spoiler



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Northern Taurids Meteor Maximum in constellation Taurus

The stream is active from 16. September to 29. December

ZHR=4.0  

Velocity=30.4km/s 

Radiant:  RA=3.8h/59°  Dec=21.6°



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Taurids Meteor Shower Peak on the 3rd November, 2011.



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