Tszabeau wrote: ↑Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:07 pm
Chris Peterson wrote: ↑Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:07 pm
Grazing meteors (not meteorites) happen when the radiant is very close to the horizon. They are characterized by generally long paths and fairly symmetric light curves. But it isn't usually possible to say for certain what you have from a single image. Meteor paths are determined by having them on two or more cameras set at different locations.
A grazing meteor that survives wouldn't follow Earth, it would be in a similar orbit to the original debris stream (which is a similar orbit to comet Swift-Tuttle).
Interesting. So a grazing meteor remains a meteor but a plunging meteor becomes a meteorite? I thought it was only the ones that reached the ground that were called meteorites. Is it possible that they become meteorites for a split-second and then resume being a meteor?
I assumed that, surely, the grazing meteors would have their courses altered significantly due to lose of momentum and change in trajectory like a ricocheting bullet.
Under current usage, a meteorite is any material that survives ablation. Meteorites do reach the ground, but it's correct to refer to them as such when they're still falling, but no longer ablating.
Meteor showers do not drop meteorites. Cometary material is too small and too fragile to survive to the ground. (There is one known exception, a Geminid fireball that almost certainly produced a meteorite, but the Geminids are unusual in having an asteroidal parent.) Except for the rare grazing meteor, all Perseid meteors burn up while still at a high altitude.
A grazing encounter with Earth certainly changes the orbit of a meteoroid. But the new orbit will probably be fairly similar to the original orbit. It won't be shifted into an orbit similar to Earth's.