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Proceedings IMC Frasso Sabino 1999 5 Leonid Dust Trail Theories

Summary: Proceedings IMC Frasso Sabino 1999 5
Leonid Dust Trail Theories
D.J. Asher
Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, UK
At the end of the 19th century, Irish astronomers Johnstone Stoney and A.M.W. Dow­
ning showed in principle how to predict meteor storms. Their work and later deve­
lopments applying similar ideas are reviewed here. The theories essentially involve
determining the dynamical behavior of dust trails, which are narrow, dense structures
within a broader stream. The formation of dust trails and the main features of their
evolution are explained. Some Leonid dust trails are perturbed by the planets so as to
result in meteor storms at the start of the 21st century.
1 A hundred years:
from Stoney and Downing to the 1999 Leonid storm
1.1 IRAS trails and meteor storms
In 1983 the Infra­Red Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) discovered narrow, dense trails of me­
teoroids and dust near the orbits of some known short­period comets. It was clear that there
are similar trails associated with many periodic comets, those detected by IRAS generally
being in cases where the comet was near perihelion during the IRAS mission.


Source: Armagh Observatory


Collections: Physics