Meteor streak color: By temperature or composition?

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mtbdudex
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Meteor streak color: By temperature or composition?

Postby mtbdudex » Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:47 pm

Q:
Is the color of a meteor streak due to it's temperature as it heats up and burns or due to it's material composition, or both?

Aug 11-12, 2015.
Did some imaging last night-early morning for the Perseids Meteor Shower.
These are the best. Looking North-East in the sky, 11:30pm thru 1:30am.
Used Canon 70D with UWA lens 11-16mm at 11mm, f2.8, ISO 1600, 13 sec exposure each.

2 captured in same single image here, the 3rd items with bright dots is a plane.
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1 captured low but bright here
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The meteorite going "up/down" is actually NOT a Perseids, it's a "stray", as not coming from the radiant which is on the RH side.
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and crops of the above
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and for fun a startrail of the 600+ images
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Mike R, P.E. .....iMac 27"(i7), iPad2, iPhone5s, 24" iMac, AppleTV(160), MacBook
Canon: 70D + lens:70-200 L f2.8 IS II / TC 1.4x 2x / 11-16 / 15-85 / f1.4 50
FEISOL tripod CT-3441S + CB-40D Ball Head / iOptron EQ tracker
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110805.html

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Chris Peterson
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Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Meteor streak color: By temperature or composition?

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:52 pm

mtbdudex wrote:Q:
Is the color of a meteor streak due to it's temperature as it heats up and burns or due to it's material composition, or both?

The tenuous hot gas around the meteoroid is too thin to function as a blackbody. Most of the light is a superposition of emission lines, both from the ablating meteoroid material and from the atmosphere. The latter is usually dominant in determining color, but meteoroid composition can also be important. That said, you can't generally make any assumptions about that composition simply from the visual appearance of a meteor.
Chris

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Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com


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