Presentation #304.04 in the session Computation, Data Handling, Image Analysis.
Persistent trains (PTs) are lingering, self-emitting optical emissions sometimes observed after initial bright meteor streaks. Based on data from the Leonids outbursts in 1999 – early 2000, these phenomena have been associated with bright, high velocity meteors, located in the brightest portion of the meteor. To further examine this population of PT-producing meteors, a widefield camera was deployed at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico to take long exposure (5 second) images. These images were run through a pipeline to automatically detect meteor-like objects and were then manually classified. Thus far, over 425 PT events have been found. Using the Global Meteor Network, a database of observed meteor events and their parameters, the statistics of these PTs were determined. It is found that the majority of observed PTs occur at relatively slow speeds, and that dim meteors are also capable of producing PTs. Additionally, in a few cases the PT occurred in the dim portion of the meteor streak. Cursory analysis shows that PT production is dependent on the mass rather than the energy of the meteor. PTs also seem to show an altitude dependence and occur over a smaller range of altitudes (~70 - 120 km) compared to meteors. These observations seem to challenge the previous assumptions made about the nature of PTs.