(meteorobs) [meteorite-list] Geminid photos uploaded/did anyone notice an

GeoZay at aol.com GeoZay at aol.com
Fri Dec 18 18:58:19 EST 2009

>>Yes. Your data is quite convincing  regarding velocity vis a vis visible 
train. But wouldn't the density, size,  weight , chemical and mineral 
composition ot the mass and the density of  atmosphere that it is able to 
penetrate govern the size of the train,  And  my interpetation of train would be the 
ablated super hot pieces and the vapor  signature. Smoke?<<
Well...we might be mixing apples with oranges here.  I responded to trains 
being produced by the Geminids and other showers whose  parent body for the 
most part is of cometary origin. Debris from comets  apparently are very 
fragile and thus not able to survive any trips to the earths  surface. Besides 
being fragile, comet velocities are also a lot faster than say  asteroidal 
objects from which most meteorites comes from. With a combination of  high 
velocities and fragile material, I'm not surprised any authenticated  
meteorites from any of the showers has been found yet. These objects for the  most 
part burn up high in the atmosphere. Anyhow, when a high velocity shower  
meteoroid plows into the thin atmosphere, its velocity energy is imparted into  
the various atmospheric atoms to which they become ionized. This 
atmospheric  ionization gives off light...which we see as a wake or a train. Actually 
what I  believe happens is that when the ionized atom becomes normal again, 
photons of  light are then given off. The faster the meteoroid as it plows 
thru the  atmosphere, the more atmospheric atoms will become ionized. The 
wider this  column is, the easier it should be for a human eye to see. It does 
stand to  reason that a large high velocity meteoroid will produce a longer 
lasting train  than its dimmer shower brothers. Although I haven't seen it 
written anywhere,  but I believe that every meteoroid, however dim will 
produce a train. It's a  matter as to how many atoms become excited for a human 
eye to perceive. I have  no doubt that even cometary debris will ablate or 
give off some smoke from its  own composition, but for the majority of them, 
the ionized atmospheric atoms  will out glow any debris material given off. 
On the other hand, trains from more  durable asteroidal debris will have a 
lot of its composition  make up a  smoke train, along with atmospheric 
ionization. These should be easily noticed  with longer durations as it 

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