Roberto Gorelli points our attention at a recently published meteor related paper.

Parker Solar Probe Observations of a Dust Trail in the Orbit of (3200) Phaethon

By Karl Battams, Matthew M. Knight, Michael S.P. Kelley, Brendan M. Gallagher, Russell A. Howard, and Guillermo Stenborg

Abstract: We present the identification and preliminary analysis of a dust trail following the orbit of (3200) Phaethon as seen in white light images recorded by the Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument on the NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission. During PSP’s first solar encounter in November 2018, a dust trail following Phaethon’s orbit was visible for several days and crossing two fields of view. Preliminary analyses indicate this trail to have a visual magnitude of 15.8 ±0.3 per pixel and a surface brightness of 25.0 mag arcsec^−2 as seen by PSP/WISPR from a distance of ∼0.2 au from the trail. We estimate the total mass of the stream to be ∼ (0.4 − 1.3)×10^12 kg, which is consistent with, though slightly underestimates, the assumed mass of the Geminid stream but is far larger than the current dust production of Phaethon could support. Our results imply that we are observing a natural clustering of at least some portion of the Geminid meteor stream through its perihelion, as opposed to dust produced more recently from perihelion activity of Phaethon.

You can download this paper for free: (14 pages).



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