We summarize the state of the art of a program of UV observations from space of meteor phenomena, a secondary objective of the JEM-EUSO international collaboration. Our preliminary analysis indicates that JEM-EUSO, taking advantage of its large FOV and good sensitivity, should be able to detect meteors down to absolute magnitude close to 7. This means that JEM-EUSO should be able to record a statistically significant flux of meteors, including both sporadic ones, and events produced by different meteor streams. Being unaffected by adverse weather conditions, JEM-EUSO can also be a very important facility for the detection of bright meteors and fireballs, as these events can be detected even in conditions of very high sky background. In the case of bright events, moreover, exhibiting some persistence of the meteor train, preliminary simulations show that it should be possible to exploit the motion of the ISS itself and derive at least a rough 3D reconstruction of the meteor trajectory. Moreover, the observing strategy developed to detect meteors may also be applied to the detection of nuclearites, exotic particles whose existence has been suggested by some theoretical investigations. Nuclearites are expected to move at higher velocities than meteoroids, and to exhibit a wider range of possible trajectories, including particles moving upward after crossing the Earth. Some pilot studies, including the approved Mini-EUSO mission, a precursor of JEM-EUSO, are currently operational or in preparation. We are doing simulations to assess the performance of Mini-EUSO for meteor studies, while a few meteor events have been already detected using the ground-based facility EUSO-TA.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank two anonymous Referees for their detailed and exhaustive reviews, which led to a substantial improvement of this work. We also thank Dr. P. Jenniskens for his kind help in assessing the predictable intensity of meteor light observed at UV wavelengths. This work was partially supported by Basic Science Interdisciplinary Research Projects of RIKEN and JSPS KAKENHI Grant (22340063, 23340081, and 24244042), by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, by the ‘Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics HAP’ funded by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association, Germany, and by Slovak Academy of Sciences MVTS JEM-EUSO as well as VEGA grant agency project 2/0076/13. Russia is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research Grant No 13-02-12175-ofi-m. The Spanish Consortium involved in the JEM-EUSO Space Mission is funded by MICINN & MINECO under the Space Program projects: AYA2009-06037-E/AYA, AYA-ESP2010-19082, AYA-ESP2011-29489-C03, AYA-ESP2012-39115-C03, AYA-ESP2013-47816-C4, MINECO/FEDER-UNAH13-4E-2741, CSD2009-00064 (Consolider MULTIDARK) and by Comunidad de Madrid (CAM) under projects S2009/ESP-1496 & S2013/ICE-2822.
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science