Space-based Detection of Meteor Shower Fireballs

Supervisor: Dr. Peter Brown

Project Description:

This project involves examining fireball detections made by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Global Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument near the time of major meteor showers. The goal of the project is to measure the population of larger (cm-decimeter) sized meteoroids in major meteor showers. Establishing the upper limit for the size of meteoroids in meteor showers can be related to the process of parent body disintegration and ultimately help to better constrain the total mass deposited by meteor showers. 

The student will perform data mining of publically available GOES-GLM bolide detections ( and relate the timing and properties for major fireballs registered in the database to correlate with the peak of major meteor showers. Establishing the total atmospheric collecting area and measured rate of bright fireballs, limits to the flux of such large fireball objects will be established. Ablation modelling of some events will be performed using existing codes to better define individual object physical characteristics. Some Python programming will be required.