Spectrum of a Leonid meteor train
The pictures below show the evolution and the spectrum of a persistent
meteor train produced by a Leonid fireball which occurred on November 17,
2001 at 12:57 UT. The data were obtained by Jiri Borovicka at the Mt Lemmon
Observatory, Arizona, USA, with an image intensified video camera equipped
with an objective spectral grating (slitless spectroscopy). Both the zero
order (direct image) and the first order spectra are shown.
At the beginning, the train luminosity is dominated by the lines of
magnesium and sodium. The lines gradually decay, while, at the same time,
an unidentified yellow continuum still brightens, in particular in a bright
spot at the train. Later, the train diffeses and the surface brightness
decreases. Javor Kac obtained a photographic
sequence of this train, which nicely shows the bluish color of the
upper part of the train at the beginning. This spectrum shows that the
color is mainly due by the blue line(s) of Mg.
Prepared by Jiri Borovicka, Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic
on November 26, 2001, updated Dec 14.
Reproduction of the pictures allowed only with the permission from