Aspect sensitivity considerations in determining day-to-night variations in meteor trail durations

Akshay Malhotra, John D. Mathews, Kimberly Ray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Recently there has been an interest in the day-to-night variations in the duration of non-specular meteor trails or Range Spread Trail Echoes (RSTE). The reported differences between the day and night durations of meteor trails have been used to arrive at conclusions on the role played by background plasma concentration and background electric field and/or winds in the formation and evolution of RSTEs in general. However, the work done to-date does not account for the aspect sensitivity of meteor trails.We present the duration distribution of meteor trails-the most comprehensive study yet on RSTE durations-considering the aspect sensitivity of these trails. In contrast to the previous reports, the day-night trail durations are statistically similar in our observations. These results stress the importance of considering aspect sensitivity while performing any such study and how a failure to do so might result in misleading results and conclusions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberL22105
    JournalGeophysical Research Letters
    Issue number22
    StatePublished - Nov 2009

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Geophysics
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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