World’s first! “ Long-term observation of meteors from space”
In METEOR project led by Planetary Exploration Research Center (PERC) at Chiba Institute of Technology, long-term meteor observation from the International Space Station is conducted, using a super-high sensitivity high-definition TV camera. The METEOR camera was launched to the ISS on March 22, 2016 (GMT) and the observation subsequently started in July 7, 2016 (GMT) .
Meteors are a light emitting phenomena caused by dusts from comets and asteroids as they penetrate into the Earth’s atmosphere.
The size of the dusts can be estimated calculated from the brightness of light from the meteor. The composition of the dust can be determined by spectroscopic observation of the light. Note that parent bodies, such as comets and asteroid, from which meteoroid dusts of major annual meteor showers come, have been identified, based on the previous ground-based observation. We are able to understand the physical and chemical characteristics of parent comets and asteroids for major meteor showers bodies from photometric and spectroscopic data of meteoroid dusts of major meteor showers obtained by the METEOR project. The ISS orbits the Earth at an approximate altitude of 400 km, which allows constant observation of meteors without distortion caused by weather and atmospheric disturbances.
Meteor images captured onboard the ISS can be downlinked and viewed in the METEOR mission operation room located in PERC within the same day.