New research reveals invisible meteors


New research reveals invisible meteors

Daniel Kastinen’s thesis presents findings that pave the way for future research and interdisciplinary studies on meteorites as well as on space debris and near-Earth asteroids. Credit: Martin Erickson/Daniel Kastinen (Illustration)

In a new thesis from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and Umeå University, unique methods for analyzing radar data and simulating meteorites in the solar system are presented. The methods have been applied to confirm the presence of rare high-altitude meteors as well as to measure space debris from the Kosmos-1408 satellite. On November 25, Daniel Kastinen defended his doctoral dissertation.


“My primary goal was the accurate analysis of radar measurements of meteors and space debris and assess the accuracy of measurements. This is to improve further analysis and use of the results in conjunction with new dynamic simulations. The work paves the way for future research and allows for multidisciplinary studies on meteorites as well as on space debris and near-Earth asteroids,” says Daniel Kastinen.

Every day, from 10 to 200 tons of material from space falls into the Earth’s atmosphere, which consists of particles the size of dust and larger pieces of material – meteorites. These particles come from parent bodies such as comets and asteroids, and thus date back to the time when the solar system was formed. When a meteor hits Earth’s atmosphere and burns up as a meteorite, the material disperses into the atmosphere. Most of these meteors are not visible to the eye but can be detected by radar.

Expect a meteor shower

By analyzing data from MU radar in Japan, Daniel Kastinen has succeeded in confirming the presence of rare meteors that occur at unusually high altitudes. A unique result as many theories and reports have been presented over the years, but without validating the meteors’ height. How the incident particles give rise to meteors at high altitudes, where the atmosphere is very thin, is a topic of research that is currently being discussed.

Another part of the thesis highlights the mimicry of the October Draconides meteor shower. Daniel Kastinen was able to describe an unexpectedly strong meteor shower explosion in 2011-2012 and predict an explosion in 2018. A subsequent study laid solid groundwork for developing this type of simulation to better predict these meteor showers.

Daniil Kastinen also used the scientific organization’s EISCAT radar system to measure space debris, which was set up last November when a Russian missile destroyed the defunct Kosmos-1408 satellite during a so-called anti-satellite test. With new methods of analysis, he was able to estimate the size of the resulting fragments. It also provides a method for determining the orbits of space objects. The study contributes to a better understanding of our near-Earth space environment and to mapping the growing amount of space debris.

Track near-Earth asteroids

Asteroids are another current research topic that Daniel Kastinen has contributed to. By simulating the movements of asteroids and how they are reflected radio wavesDaniel proved that the EISCAT 3D radar system currently being built in northern Scandinavia will be able to study near-Earth asteroids.

The radar The system can track near-Earth asteroids that could strike and damage the Earth’s surface. Of particular interest are the prospects for discovering asteroids that are temporarily captured by Earth’s gravity, so-called minimoons. Simulations show that up to 1,000m of tiny snails are in temporary orbits around the Earth each year, but so far only a few have been detected.

“I look forward to continuing and building on my research. There are a number of interesting studies to be done using new methods of analysis. For example, tracing the source of meteorites and looking for meteorites that originated in interstellar space outside the solar system as well as the discovery of new dust streams in the solar system. I also want to use the methods to better predict meteor showers and contribute to understanding how things are in our area Solar System It moves and develops, ”says Daniel Kastenin.

more information:
hypothesis: From Meteorites to Space Safety: Dynamic Models and Radar Measurements of Space Objects

Introduction of
Umeå University

the quote: New Research Reveals Invisible Meteors (2022, November 22) Retrieved November 22, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-reveals-invisible-meteors.html

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