A Caltech Library Service

Leonids 2006 observations of the tail of trails: Where is the comet fluff?

Jenniskens, P. and de Kleer, K. and Vaubaillon, J. and Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M. and Madiedo, J. M. and Haas, R. and ter Kuile, C. R. and Miskotte, K. and Vandeputte, M. and Johannink, C. and Bus, P. and van ’t Leven, J. and Jobse, M. and Koop, M. (2008) Leonids 2006 observations of the tail of trails: Where is the comet fluff? Icarus, 196 (1). pp. 171-183. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2008.02.026.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


In 2006, Earth encountered a trail of dust left by Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle two revolutions ago, in A.D. 1932. The resulting Leonid shower outburst was observed by low light level cameras from locations in Spain. The outburst peaked on 2006 Nov. 19d 04h39m ± 3m UT (predicted: 19d 04h50m ± 15m UT), with a FWHM of 43 ± 10 min (predicted: 38 min), at a peak rate of ZHR=80±10/h (predicted: 50–200 per hour). A low level background of older and brighter Filament Leonids (χ∼2.1) was also present, which dominated rates for Leonids brighter than magnitude +4. The 1932-dust outburst was detected among Leonids of +0 magnitude and brighter. These outburst Leonids were much brighter than expected, with a magnitude distribution index χ=2.60±0.15 (predicted: χ=3.47 and up). Trajectories and orbits of 24 meteors were calculated, most of which are part of the Filament component. Those that were identified as 1932-dust grains penetrated just as deep as Leonids in past encounters. We conclude that larger meteoroids than expected were present in the tail of the 1932-dust trail and meteoroids did not end up there because of low density. We also find that the radiant position of meteors in the Filament component scatter in a circle with radius 0.39°, which is wider than in 1998, when the diameter was 0.09°. This supports the hypothesis that the Filament component consists of meteoroids in mean-motion resonances.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
de Kleer, K.0000-0002-9068-3428
Haas, R.0000-0003-1424-6178
Additional Information:© 2008 Elsevier Inc. Received 22 October 2007, Revised 4 February 2008, Available online 8 April 2008. The 2006 Leonid campaign was made possible by NASA's Planetary Astronomy program. K.d.K. received a NSF grant for the SETI Institute REU program. J.M.T.-R. thanks the MEC for a JdC research grant. J.V. received support from Bill Reach at IPAC. We thank operators at CINES (France) for their assistance in using the super-computer for simulations. We also thank Jun-ichi Watanabe and Margaret Campbell-Brown for careful reviews of this paper.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC)UNSPECIFIED
Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Comets; Comets; Meteors
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190611-134954300
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:P. Jenniskens, K. de Kleer, J. Vaubaillon, J.M. Trigo-Rodríguez, J.M. Madiedo, R. Haas, C.R. ter Kuile, K. Miskotte, M. Vandeputte, C. Johannink, P. Bus, J. van 't Leven, K. Jobse, M. Koop, Leonids 2006 observations of the tail of trails: Where is the comet fluff?, Icarus, Volume 196, Issue 1, 2008, Pages 171-183, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96298
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Jun 2019 21:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page