CAOSP abstracts, Volume: 32, No.: 2, year: 2002

Abstract: A possible fragmentation of meteoroids in interplanetary space inferred from grouping of particles in meteor streams is discussed. There is a conviction maintained by many observers that meteors within the streams are observed to be clustered in pairs or larger groups more frequently than one could expect from random distribution. The rate of dispersive effects indicates that the lifetime of any such a group of meteoroids is very limited. Therefore, if real, the pairs or groups must be due to recent fragmentation of larger meteoroids.

Analyses based on visual observations of meteor streams lead to contradictory results. More conclusive are analyses based on radio measurements, which present a negative result concerning the permanent meteor showers with the stream structures at their middle and late evolutionary stages, and an indication of a positive result for younger dense stream structures of recent origin. Analysis of the 1969 Leonid display obtained by the Springhill high-power radar shows that about 10% of the population around the shower maximum is associated in close groups, within a distance up to of about 10 km and confined to an effective stream width comparable to the diameter of the Earth. The recent Leonid returns with the storm in 1999 provided a possibility to verify a non-random grouping of particles within this young filament of the stream. The analysis and results based on TV observations of the storm are presented and discussed.

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