Artificial meteors observed in mid-infrared range

S. Rommeluère, J. Vaubaillon, S. Loehle, R. Ravichandran, P. Matlovič, J. Tóth

Available online 14 January 2024, 115946


“Meteors are most often observed from the ground in the visible, most often at a distance of at least 80-100 km between the phenomenon and the observer. Such constraints lead to rough assumptions of the meteoroid’s physical parameters for the data analysis. Wind tunnel experiments allow the scientists to fully characterize artificial meteors by means of a well known, controlled and calibrated environment. Here we present the first observation and full characterization of a 11.7 km/s equivalent meteor in M-IR band (3-). Real meteorites of different types were used in order to reproduce natural meteors in the laboratory environment. The measurements were taken with both an M-IR imaging camera and an M-IR spectrometer. We found that the overall aspect of the meteorite sample in the wind tunnel is similar in M-IR and visible bands. The M-IR spectrum shows a continuum (Planck’s law), but no distinct emission lines of atoms or molecules. The derived temperatures lie in the range K, regardless of the meteorite type. Discussions regarding the comparison with other experiments are presented.”