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Dust Trails of SP/Tuttle and the Unusual Outbursts of the Ursid ShowerHalley-type comets tend to have a series of dust trails that remain spatially correlated for extended periods of time, each dating from a specific return of the comet. Encounters with 1 - 9 revolution old individual dust trails of 55P/Tempel-Tuttle have led to well recognized Leonid shower maxim, the peak time of which was well predicted by recent models. Now. we used the same model to calculate the position of dust trails of comet Shuttle, a Halley-type comet in an (approximately) 13.6 year orbit passing just outside of Earth's orbit. We discovered that the meteoroids tend to be trapped in the 14:12 mean motion resonance with Jupiter, while the comet librates in a slightly shorter period orbit around the 13:15 resonance. It takes six centuries to change the orbit enough to intersect Earth's orbit. During that time, the meteoroids and comet separate in mean anomaly by six years. thus explaining the unusual aphelion occurrences of Ursid outbursts. The resonances also prevent dispersion, so that the dust trail encounters (specifically, from dust trails of AD 1378 - 1405) occur only in one year in each orbit. We predicted enhanced activity on December 22, 2000, at around 7:29 and 8:35 UT (universal time) from dust trails dating to the 1405 and 1392 return, respectively. This event was observed from California using video and photographic techniques. At the same time, five Global-MS-Net stations in Finland, Japan and Belgium counted meteors using forward meteor scatter. The outburst peaked at 8:06:07 UT, December 22, at Zenith Hourly Rate (approx.) 90 per hour. The Ursid rates were above half peak intensity during 4.2 hours. This is only the second Halley type comet for which a meteor outburst can be dated to a specific return of the parent comet, and traces their presence back form 9 to at least 45 revolutions of the comet. New orbital elements of Ursid meteoroids are presented. We find that most orbits do scatter around the anticipated positions, confirming the link with comet Shuttle and the epoch of ejection. The 1405 and.1392 dust trails appear to have contributed similar amounts to the activity profile. Some orbits provide a hint of much older debris being present as well. Some of the dispersion in the radiant position may reflect a true variation in inclinations, with two groupings at low and high values, which is not understood at present.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Jenniskens, Peter
Lyytinen, E.
deLignie, M. C.
Johannink, C.
Jobse, K.
Schievink, R.
Langbroek, M.
Koop, M.
Gural, P.
Wilson, M.
DeVincenzi, Donald L.
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 344-50-92
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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