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The Flux of Kilogram-Sized Meteoroids from Lunar Impact Monitoring

By SpaceRef Editor
April 28, 2014
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The Flux of Kilogram-Sized Meteoroids from Lunar Impact Monitoring

Robert Suggs, Danielle Moser, William Cooke, Ronnie Suggs (Submitted on 25 Apr 2014)

The flashes from meteoroid impacts on the Moon are useful in determining the flux of impactors with masses as low as a few tens of grams. A routine monitoring program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has recorded over 300 impacts since 2006. A selection of 126 flashes recorded during periods of photometric skies was analyzed, creating the largest and most homogeneous dataset of lunar impact flashes to date. Standard CCD photometric techniques were applied to the video and the luminous energy, kinetic energy, and mass are estimated for each impactor.

Shower associations were determined for most of the impactors and a range of luminous efficiencies was considered. The flux to a limiting energy of 2.5E-6 kT TNT or 1.05E7 J is 1.03E-7 km-2 hr-1 and the flux to a limiting mass of 30 g is 6.14E-10 m-2 yr-1 at the Moon. Comparisons made with measurements and models of the meteoroid population indicate that the flux of objects in this size range is slightly lower (but within error bars) than flux at this size from the near Earth object and fireball population by Brown et al. 2002. Size estimates for the crater detected by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from a large impact observed on March 17, 2013 are also briefly discussed.

Comments: Accepted by Icarus 19 April 2014. 28 pages, 16 figures, 4 tables

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.032

Cite as: arXiv:1404.6458 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1404.6458v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Robert Suggs [v1] Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:31:11 GMT (1107kb) 

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