Get access
Advertisement

A possible meteor shower on the Moon

Authors


Abstract

Over the 3-day period from 12 to 14 October, 1990, the sodium abundance in the lunar atmosphere at 80° South increased by 60%, while interspersed measurements at the equator showed no substantial change. The source is suggested to be an unknown meteor shower with a radiant near the south ecliptic pole. A low relative velocity of ∼20 km/sec, combined with small particle masses, would keep the shower below the detectability threshold of radar. The stream could evolve from a reasonable asteroidal or cometary orbit with perihelion somewhat greater than 1 astronomical unit (AU) and a major axis of a few AU. The short residence time of lunar sodium makes it much more favorable than the terrestrial sodium layer for detection of such an event.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary