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Occurrence and Altitude of the Non-Specular Long-Lived Meteor Trails During Meteor Showers at High Latitudes
  • Alexander Kozlovsky,
  • Renata Lukianova,
  • Mark Lester
Alexander Kozlovsky
Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Renata Lukianova
Space Research Institute RAS
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Mark Lester
University of Leicester
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Meteoroids entering the Earth’s atmosphere produce ionized trails, which are detectable by radio sounding. Cylindrical underdense (and partly overdense) trails form a great majority of meteor echoes received by meteor radars (MR). Additionally, the long-lived non-specular (LLNS) meteor echoes are received from non-field-aligned irregularities of ionization generated along tracks of relatively large meteoroids. The occurrence and height distributions of LLNS are studied using MR observations at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO, 67° 22’ N, 26° 38’ E, Finland) during 2008-2019. Two parameters are analyzed: the percentage and height distribution of LLNS echoes. These LLNS echoes constitute about 2% of all MR detections. However during certain meteor showers (Geminids, Perseids, Quadrantids, Arietids or/and Daytime ζ-Perseids, and Lyrids) the percentage of LLNS echoes is noticeably higher (about 6, 5, 4, 4, and 3%, respectively). Typically, the LLNSs occur ∼2 km higher than other echoes (in June-July the height difference is reduced to ∼1 km). Due to this elevation, a larger percentage of LLNSs is manifested as an upward shift of the height distribution of meteor trails during meteor showers. Moreover, during Lyrids, η-Aquariids, Perseids, Orionids, and Leonids the LLNS echoes occur noticeably, up to 3-6 km, higher than the echoes from other types of trails. Thus, enhanced heights of meteor detections during major meteor showers (Quadrantids, Lyrids, η-Aquariids, Arietids or/and Daytime ζ-Perseids, Perseids, Orionids, Leonids, and Geminids) are predominantly due to long-lived non-specular echoes from the non-field-aligned irregularities associated with large meteoroids.
Aug 2020Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics volume 125 issue 8. 10.1029/2019JA027746