The 2017 Meteor Shower Activity Forecast for Earth OrbitMost meteor showers will display typical activity levels in 2017. Perseid activity is expected to be higher than normal but less than in 2016; rates may reach 80% of the peak ZHR in 2016. Despite this enhancement, the Perseids rank 4th in flux for 0.04-cm-equivalent meteoroids: the Geminids (GEM), Daytime Arietids (ARI), and Southern delta Aquariids (SDA) all produce higher fluxes. Aside from heightened Perseid activity, the 2017 forecast includes a number of changes. In 2016, the Meteoroid Environment Office used 14 years of shower flux data to revisit the activity profiles of meteor showers included in the annual forecast. Both the list of showers and the shape of certain major showers have been revised. The names and three-letter shower codes were updated to match those in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Meteor Data Center, and a number of defunct or insignificant showers were removed. The most significant of these changes are the increased durations of the Daytime Arietid (ARI) and Geminid (GEM) meteor showers. This document is designed to supplement spacecraft risk assessments that incorporate an annual averaged meteor shower flux (as is the case with all NASA meteor models). Results are presented relative to this baseline and are weighted to a constant kinetic energy. Two showers - the Daytime Arietids (ARI) and the Geminids (GEM) - attain flux levels approaching that of the baseline meteoroid environment for 0.1-cm-equivalent meteoroids. This size is the threshold for structural damage. These two showers, along with the Quadrantids (QUA) and Perseids (PER), exceed the baseline flux for 0.3-cm-equivalent particles, which is near the limit for pressure vessel penetration. Please note, however, that meteor shower fluxes drop dramatically with increasing particle size. As an example, the Arietids contribute a flux of about 5x10(exp -6) meteoroids m(exp -2) hr-1 in the 0.04-cm-equivalent range, but only 1x10(exp -8) meteoroids m(sub -2) hr-1 for the 0.3-cmequivalent and larger size regime. Thus, a PNP risk assessment should use the flux and flux enhancements corresponding to the smallest particle capable of penetrating a component, because the flux at this size will be the dominant contributor to the risk.
Moorhead, Althea (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Cooke, Bill (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Moser, Danielle (Jacobs Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation Group (ESSSA) Huntsville, AL, United States)
February 9, 2017
January 1, 2017
AstronomyLunar And Planetary Science And Exploration