Journal Article

Observations of the Geminids and Quadrantids using a stratosphere-troposphere radar

P. Brown, W. K. Hocking, J. Jones and J. Rendtel

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 295, issue 4, pages 847-859
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Observations of the Geminids and Quadrantids using a stratosphere-troposphere radar

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Radar observations of the 1996 Geminid and 1997 Quadrantid showers are reported using the CLOVAR stratosphere-troposphere (ST) radar. A method for determining the limiting sensitivity of a radar system using observed number-amplitude data from a single shower is presented, and the result compared with more conventional measurements. This technique is capable of providing very precise measurement of the mass index for a shower in cases where large numbers of echoes are available. The mass index profiles for both showers are presented and found to be U-shaped with a minimum near the time of peak flux. Peak flux values are found to be 0.19±0.02 meteoroid km−2 h−1 at 261°.82±0°.2 for the Geminids and 0.14±0.01 meteoroid km−2 h−1 at 283°.08±0°.08 for the Quadrantids to a limiting radio magnitude of 7.7. The locations of maximum are found to coincide with the visually determined position. No significant difference in the location of maximum is detected for either stream over a range of 2 radio magnitudes or in comparison with the visual results. The Geminid radar flux curve is found to be very broad near maximum with a plateau in activity lasting nearly 2 d, while the visual curve shows a FWHM of 24±4 h and modest asymmetry with a slow build-up to maximum. The Quadrantids are found to have a sharp maximum following a Gaussian profile to first order with a full width to the 1/e flux positions of 12 h.

Keywords: techniques: radar astronomy; meteors, meteoroids

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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