Exceptional Fireball Activity of Orionids in 2006


We report exceptional fireball activity of the Orionid meteor shower in 2006. During four nights in October 2006 the autonomous fireball observatories of the Czech part of the European Fireball Network (EN) recorded 48 fireballs belonging to the Orionids. This is significantly more than the total number of Orionids recorded during about five decades long continuous operation of the EN. Based on precise multi-station photographic and radiometric data we present accurate atmospheric trajectories, heliocentric orbits, light curves and basic physical properties of 10 Orionid fireballs with atmospheric trajectories that were long enough and, with one exception, were observed from at least three stations. Seven were recorded in within a 2-h interval in the night of 20/21 October. Their basic parameters such as radiant positions and heliocentric orbits are very similar. This high fireball activity originated from a very compact geocentric radiant defined by α =  95.10° ± 0.10° and δ = 15.50° ± 0.06°. These fireballs most likely belonged to a distinct filament of larger meteoroids trapped in 1:5 resonance with Jupiter. From detailed light curves and basic fireball classification we found that these meteoroids appertain to the weakest component of interplanetary matter.

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We greadfully acknowledge thorough and helpful comments from both reviewers Dr. P. Jenniskens and J. Rendtel as well as editor Dr. F. Rietmeijer. This work was partly supported by institution research plan AV0Z10030501 of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and partly by the European project ORIGINS MRTN-CT-2006-035519.

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Correspondence to Pavel Spurný.

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Spurný, P., Shrbený, L. Exceptional Fireball Activity of Orionids in 2006. Earth Moon Planet 102, 141–150 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11038-007-9210-2

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  • Orionids
  • Fireball
  • Trajectory
  • Radiant
  • Orbit
  • Light curve