Meteor smoke trail

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JohnD
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Meteor smoke trail

Post by JohnD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:16 am

Today's (18th April 2016) EPOD is of an exploding Lyrid meteor. What is extraordinary is that the photographer recorded the residual smoke trail.

http://petapixel.com/2015/04/24/photogr ... n-the-sky/

It's described as Z-shaped. What shape is it? A double, linked smoke ring?
And what illuminates it? Glowing with heat? Ionisation? OR just sunshine, very high up in the atmosphere/

John

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geckzilla
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Re: Meteor smoke trail

Post by geckzilla » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:54 am

It'd be pretty hard to figure out what the 3d shape of that smoke trail is. It's an interesting shape, though.
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Chris Peterson
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Re: Meteor smoke trail

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:22 pm

JohnD wrote:Today's (18th April 2016) EPOD is of an exploding Lyrid meteor. What is extraordinary is that the photographer recorded the residual smoke trail.

http://petapixel.com/2015/04/24/photogr ... n-the-sky/

It's described as Z-shaped. What shape is it? A double, linked smoke ring?
And what illuminates it? Glowing with heat? Ionisation? OR just sunshine, very high up in the atmosphere/
This isn't a smoke trail, but a meteor train. It consists of ionized air particles and meteoritic material, which is the source of the light. Lyrids are fairly fast, so they can produce a long train which extends through many kilometer of the high altitude atmosphere (this is perhaps 80 or 90 km high). Differential winds, varying with altitude, distort the train over a few minutes. Appearances to the contrary, the train probably doesn't cross its own path, the crossings are just perspective illusions (imagine what a corkscrew would look like from nearly end on).
Chris

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geckzilla
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Re: Meteor smoke trail

Post by geckzilla » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:23 pm

No matter how many times Chris corrects the old "smoke trail" thing I might never remember to stop calling it that...
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Meteor smoke trail

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:57 pm

geckzilla wrote:No matter how many times Chris corrects the old "smoke trail" thing I might never remember to stop calling it that...
Smoke trails are real, too. They're usually produced by larger bodies that penetrate much deeper. And they're more commonly seen in the day.
Chris

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