THE LEONID METEOR SHOWER AND THE LUNAR SODIUM ATMOSPHERE

D.M.HUNTEN

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
dhunten


G. CREMONESE
Osservatorio Astronomico, Vic. Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

ANN L. SPRAGUE, R.E.HILL

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
sprague
fax 520-621-4933



S. VERANI
International Space Science Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

AND

R.W.H. KOZLOWSKI
Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania


ABSTRACT

(ICARUS, In press, 1998)

Observations of lunar sodium were made on November 16-18, 1997 at Asi ago and Mount Lemmon Observatories. A small enhancement was observed, and we suggest that it was related to the Leonid shower. Visual observations by members of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers and the North American Meteor Network show a peak, a few hours wide, at about 12:50 UT on the 17th. The possible enhancement of the lunar Na appears to last at least three days, and must be associated with a consdiderably more extended cloud of particles than that responsible for the bri ght visual meteors. The circumstances of the 1997, 1998 and 1999 events are discussed. Large showers may occur in 1998 and 1999; the 1998 one occurs too close to New Moon for good atmospheric observations, but if the extended, faint shower is also enhanced the corresponding lunar Na should be observable for a considerably longer period.


ICARUS, In Press, August, 1998.

See also: GRL 18 (11), 2101-2104, Nov., 1991, "A Possible Meteor Shower on the Moon".