[PPS03-P25] Video Observations of Faint Meteors with Tomo-e PM
Keywords:meteor, video observation, interplanetary dust particle
Tons of IDPs fall down to the Earth per day. Interacting with atmosphere, they lose part of their kinetic energy in a form of emission. This phenomenon is called meteor. Thus, we can derive physical parameters of single particles by investigating meteors. The size distribution of the IDPs around the Earth can be examined through the luminosity function of meteors. Fainter meteors should be observed to constrain the size distribution of smaller IDPs.
To efficiently detect faint meteors, a high sensitivity video camera with a large aperture is preferred. We have been developing a new wide-field CMOS mosaic camera, Tomo-e Gozen, for the 1.05-m Kiso Schmidt Telescope. The camera is composed of four individual camera modules, each of which is equipped with 21 CMOS image sensors. Tomo-e Gozen can monitor a sky of about 20 deg2 continuously at up to 2 Hz. The camera will start its operation with a single module in February, 2018. A limiting magnitude of Tomo-e Gozen is expected to be about 18.5 mag. in the V-band for 0.5 s integration, corresponding to a meteor limiting magnitude of about 13 mag. in the V-band. Tomo-e Gozen mounted on the 1.05-m Kiso Schmidt Telescope will be the world-largest video camera, and thus will be an ideal facility to observe faint meteors. As a pathfinder project for Tomo-e Gozen, we have developed a prototype mosaic CMOS camera, Tomo-e PM. Tomo-e PM is equipped with 8 CMOS sensors, which has an ability to continuously obtain images of about 2 deg2 at 2 Hz. A limiting magnitude of the Tomo-e PM is as good as of Tomo-e Gozen. Tomo-e PM is still a powerful facility to observe faint meteors.
We performed meteor observations with the Tomo-e PM mounted on the 1.05-m Kiso Schmidt Telescope. The observations were carried out on 2016-04-11 and 2016-04-14. The lunar ages were 3.6 and 6.6 on 2016-04-11 and 2016-04-14, respectively. Net observing time was about 10.6 hours in total. Tomo-e PM detected 2,220 unique meteor events. The video rate absolute magnitudes of the detected meteors ranged from 4.0 to 10.0 mag. in the V-band. The result clearly demonstrates that the Tomo-e Gozen has an ability to investigate meteors fainter than 10 mag. Since no significant meteor shower activity was reported, most of the detected meteors were expected to be sporadic meteors.
We approximate the luminosity function of meteors by an exponential distribution: log10 N(<M) = log10N0 + Mlog10r, where N(<M) is the number of meteors brighter than M-th magnitude, N0 is the number of meteors brighter than zeroth magnitude, and r is the slope of the luminosity function or the meteor index. The parameters N0 and r were constrained by a fitting based on a statistical model. The present results suggest that r = 3.1±0.4 and log10N0 =-5.5±0.5. The present results are roughly consistent with the luminosity functions obtained for sporadic meteors in literature. We have demonstrated that a wide-field CMOS camera mounted on a large telescope has advantages in observing faint meteors. With Tomo-e Gozen, we are able to efficiently investigate variations in the luminosity function of faint meteors with a sufficiently large number of samples.