publication . Article . 1991

A possible meteor shower on the Moon

Donald M. Hunten; R. W. H. Kozlowski; Ann L. Sprague;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Nov 1991 Journal: Geophysical Research Letters, volume 18, pages 2,101-2,104 (issn: 0094-8276, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Over the 3‐day period from 12 to 14 October, 1990, the sodium abundance in the lunar atmosphere at 80° South increased by 60%, while interspersed measurements at the equator showed no substantial change. The source is suggested to be an unknown meteor shower with a radiant near the south ecliptic pole. A low relative velocity of ∼20 km/sec, combined with small particle masses, would keep the shower below the detectability threshold of radar. The stream could evolve from a reasonable asteroidal or cometary orbit with perihelion somewhat greater than 1 astronomical unit (AU) and a major axis of a few AU. The short residence time of lunar sodium makes it much more favorable than the terrestrial sodium layer for detection of such an event.
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free text keywords: General Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geophysics, Solar System, Astronomy, Equator, Sodium layer, Astronomical unit, Geology, Meteor shower, Orbit, Atmosphere of the Moon, Ecliptic pole
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Article . 1991
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