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NEO fireball diversity: energetics-based entry modeling and analysis techniques

  • Douglas O. ReVelle (a1)

Abstract

We have examined the behavior of a number of bolides in Earth's atmosphere from the standpoint of recent entry modeling techniques. The entry modeling has been carried out including a triggered progressive fragmentation model (TPFM) which maintains a maximum drag orientation for the fragments in either the collective or a non-collective wake limit during entry (ReVelle 2004). Specifically in this paper, we have proposed a new method of estimating the terminal bolide mass and have compared it against the corresponding single-body mass loss prediction. A new expression for the terminal mass is proposed that corrects the mass of the body for the changing mass to area ratio during the fragmentation process. As a result of this new work we have found two very interesting features that correspond very closely to those found from a direct analysis of the observational data. These include an instantaneous mass that closely resembles that directly observed and an ablation coefficient behavior that also strongly resembles meteor observations (such as those found recently by Ceplecha & ReVelle 2005). During fragmentation, the apparent ablation coefficient has now been shown to decrease dramatically approaching the intrinsic ablation coefficient proposed by Ceplecha & ReVelle (2005). In our modeling we have assumed a breakup into equal size fragments that are consistently and progressively multiples of two of the original unbroken leading piece. Had we assumed a multitude of many much smaller pieces that made up the totality of the original body, our predicted ablation coefficient would indeed have approached the very small intrinsic ablation parameter values predicted by Ceplecha and ReVelle. This is especially evident in the case of Sumava, but is also true in a number of other cases as well. The bolides whose properties have been modeled using our detailed entry code including a prediction of the panchromatic luminosity consist of the 1965 Revelstoke meteorite fall (Folinsbee 1967; Carr 1970; Shoemaker 1983), the 1974 Sumava fireball and the 1991 Benesov fireball as presented in Borovička & Spurný (1996) and in Borovička et al. (1998), the Tagish Lake meteorite fall of January 8, 2000 (Brown et al. 2002), the March 9, 2002 Park Forest meteorite fall (Brown et al. 2004), the June 6, 2002 Mediterranean (Crete) bolide as presented in Brown et al. (2002) and finally the September 4, 2004 Antarctic bolide respectively (Klekociuk et al. 2005). A self-consistent assessment of the detailed properties of each of the fireballs was made using all available information for each event. In the future, more reliable estimates of all of the necessary source parameters (including their overall degree of bulk porosity) will be made if all channels of information are reliably retrieved for bolide events (channels such as acoustic-gravity waves and specifically its infrasound emission, seismic waves, satellite optical and IR data, ground-based spectroscopy, ground-based photometry and radiometry, VLF radiation, meteorite fragment recovery, etc.).

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References

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NEO fireball diversity: energetics-based entry modeling and analysis techniques

  • Douglas O. ReVelle (a1)

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