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Leonid MAC

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The latest update on developments concerning the Leonid MAC airborne campaigns.

Update November 22, 2001

Flux rates

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.

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