SuprimeCam observation of sporadic meteors during perseids 2004

Masanori Iye, Mikito Tanaka, Masahisa Yanagisawa, Noboru Ebizuka, Kouji Ohnishi, Chikako Hirose, Naoko Asami, Yutaka Komiyama, Hisanori Furusawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We report on serendipitous findings of 13 faint meteors and 44 artificial space objects by SuprimeCam imaging observations during 2004 August 11-16. The meteors, at about 100 km altitude, and artificial satellites/debris in orbit, at 500 km altitude or higher, were clearly discriminated by their apparent defocused image sizes. We defined a peak video-rate magnitude by comparing the integrated photon counts from the brightest portion of the track traversed within 33 ms to those from a 0-mag star during the same time duration. The magnitudes thus defined for the meteors, including 1 Perseid, 1 Aquarid, and 11 sporadic meteors, were in the range 4.0 < Vvr < 6.4 and 4.1 < Ivr < 5.9. Although the spatial resolution is insufficient to resolve the source size of anything smaller than about 1 m, we developed a new estimate of the collisionally excited column diameter of these meteors. A diameter as small as a few mm was derived from their collisionally excited [O I] 5577 photon rates, meteor speed, and the volume density of the oxygen atoms at an altitude of 100 km. The actual column diameter of the radiating zone, however, could be as large as few 100 m because the excited oxygen atoms travel that distance before they emit forbidden lines in 0.7 s of its average lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-855
Number of pages15
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Meteors
  • Perseids, photometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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