Meteors are produced from meteoroids that are Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Created from the disruption of comets and asteroids, their study allows for the physical and chemical properties of parent bodies to be better constrained. Because most meteoroids are too small to be directly observed in space, ground-based camera networks (such as Weryk et al., 2008) are often used to detect fireballs produced from centimetre sized objects, and their mass influx can be extrapolated to larger sizes.The mass/size distribution of meteoroid streams is an important topic, relating directly to the impact hazard to the Earth (see Brown et al., 2015). Unfortunately, the largest meteoroids interact with the Earth’s atmosphere so infrequently that their observation is very biased and not predictable, but due to their large size, they may be visible in space. Barabanov and Smirnov (2005) presented detections of large possibly cometary meteoroids over 5 m in diameter, but their results could not be confirmed by Beech et al. (2004). More recently, Micheli and Tholen (2015) looked for objects in the meteoroid streams of several major showers, but found no stream objects.The Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) telescope, operated by the University of Hawai`i, has a large seven square degree field-of-view which can reliably detect new NEOs. However, not every NEO candidate is followed up and linked into a well established orbit, possibly due to the fact that the smallest bodies will not be visible at the sensitivity limit of PS1 for very long, or that their predicted orbit is uncertain so follow up telescopes look in the wrong location. In this work, we present our results to date about searching for potential meteoroid streams (with an emphasis on cometary streams) with the PS1 telescope using its multi-year database of unlinked NEO detections. For recent observations, where possible, we have observed the true non-geocentric radiants directly during peak shower activity. The detection of known meteoroid streams will allow for additional follow up studies with other telescopes.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #47
- Pub Date:
- November 2015