Journal Article

Finite-size corrections to the atmospheric heating of micrometeorites

Martin Beech

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 2, pages 1208-1212
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15968.x
Finite-size corrections to the atmospheric heating of micrometeorites

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We investigate the heating of micrometeorites and dust particles, as they decelerate in the Earth's upper atmosphere, when finite-size correction effects to the Stefan–Boltzmann surface reradiation law apply. For particles smaller than about 25 μm across, it is found that the finite-size corrections result in significantly lower maximum temperatures being realized. Indeed, the finite-size correction to the Stefan–Boltzmann law acts in the opposite sense to that of a reduced radiative efficiency which tends to increase the temperature of small meteoroids. It is also found that the accumulated thermal processing during atmospheric deceleration is greatly reduced when finite-size correction effects become important and this may have important consequences for the loss of volatile elements, as well as any petrographic alterations that a dust particle may experience.

Keywords: radiation mechanisms: thermal; meteors, meteoroids

Journal Article.  3987 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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