LEONID DAILY NEWS: November 22, 2001
Leonid optical spectra.
Leonid MAC participants have much to be thankful for on this
Thanksgiving day. A first inspection of the high resolution optical
spectroscopy conducted by former Ames Astrobiology Academy student
Emily Schaller of Dartmouth College during the
2001 Leonid MAC mission, shows an abundance of Leonid spectra of a quality
never seen before. 23 spectra and 54 meteors were recorded.
The reproductions to the left
do not do justice to the hundreds of emission lines visible in the
original data. Half of the spectra are the garden variety form, with characteristic
lines of oxygen and nitrogen, but many others show yet unidentified emission lines and
molecular bands. These data will be used to study the temperature of the meteoric
plasma and the abundance of small fragments of organic molecules.
Schaller used a slit-less CCD spectrometer of
Leonid MAC PI Dr. Peter Jenniskens. We are thankful to all that made this
Astrobiology mission a success.
Previous news items:
Nov 22 - Wowh! Optical meteor spectra
Dec. 25 - Ursid shower circular IMO
Dec. 24 - Ursid shows early release of sodium
Dec. 23 - Ursid outburst confirmed
Dec. 18 - Dec 22 Ursid outburst
Nov. 20 - A bacterial fingerprint?
Nov. 15 - HCN disappears mysteriously
Nov. 14 - Meteor shower from space
Nov. 13 - Organic fingerprint
Nov. 12 - Train airglow chemistry
Nov. 11 - Hard bits and persisting glows
Nov. 10 - Meteoroid debris detected
Nov. 09 - New meteor picture
Nov. 08 - Spin city
Nov. 07 - Meteors affect atmospheric chemistry
Nov. 06 - Listen to this!
Nov. 04 - Fear of heights?
Nov. 03 - The pale (infra-red) dot
Nov. 02 - Twin showers
Nov. 01 - Leonids approaching Earth
Oct. 31 - Prospects for Moon Impact Studies
Oct. 30 - Comet dust crumbled less fine
Results of this work were published in the Astrobiology Journal.