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

Learning about comets from the study of mass distributions and fluxes of meteoroid streams

This article has been submitted and accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez, and Jürgen Blum.


Abstract: Meteor physics can provide new clues about the size, structure, and density of cometary disintegration products, establishing a bridge between different research fields. From meteor magnitude data we have estimated the mass distribution of meteoroids from different cometary streams by using the relation between the luminosity and the mass obtained by Verniani (1973).  These mass distributions are in the range observed for dust particles released from comets 1P/Halley and 81P/Wild 2 as measured from spacecraft. From the derived mass distributions, we have integrated the incoming mass for the most significant meteor showers. By comparing the mass of the collected Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) with that derived for cometary meteoroids a gap of several orders of magnitude is encountered. The largest examples of fluffy particles are clusters of IDPs no larger than 100 µm in size (or 5×10-7 g in mass) while the largest cometary meteoroids are centimeter-sized objects. Such gaps can be explained by the fragmentation in the interstellar medium or in the atmosphere of the original cometary particles. As an application of the mass distribution computations we describe the significance of the disruption of fragile comets in close approaches to Earth as a more efficient (and probably more frequent) way to deliver volatiles than direct impacts. We finally apply our model to quantify the flux of meteoroids from different meteoroid streams, and to describe the main physical processes contributing to the progressive decay of cometary meteoroids in the interplanetary medium.

You can download this paper for free: (27 pages).

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