[AZ-Observing] Re: Meteor Colors

  • From: "Dan Heim" <dan@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 12:04:26 -0700

Tom,

Well, we all know from emission nebulae that oxygen can produce red, and
there's proportionately more of that in the lower atmosphere.  What really
complicates matters is that there are different ionization states at
increasing energy levels.  Oxygen, sufficiently energized, can emit in UV.
So the progression of colors often visible (as in the photo you linked) can
be due to a series of energy levels from the same gas, or successive
chemically distinct layers of the meteor ablating, or a superposition of the
two.

And, by the way, there is no such thing as "recreational" calculus.  It's
always hard work ... at least it is for me.

Dan Heim
President
Desert Foothills Astronomy Club
http://www.dfacaz.org

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Polakis" <tpolakis@xxxxxxx>
To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 11:39 AM
Subject: [AZ-Observing] Re: Meteor Colors


> Dan,
>
> Thanks for the explanation, but I was really looking forward to doing some
recreational calculus this morning.
>
> All of the good photographs of the great 2001 Leonid meteor shower showed
a progression of colors from green at the beginning through magenta at the
end.  Here's an example by Tony Hallas:
>
> http://www.astrophoto.com/meteor.htm
>
> As the meteors go deeper into the atmosphere, their colors shift toward
the red.  Has anybody done an analysis to determine which elements those
colors represent?  Or is the atmosphere's composition about the same
throughout, and it's just caused by different temperatures and pressures?
>
> Tom
> --
> See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please
> send personal replies to the author, not the list.
>
>


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