Effect of a Meteoric Shower on the Ionosphere


OF the various agencies responsible for producing and maintaining ionisation of the ionosphere, bombardment of the upper atmosphere by meteors has been suggested as one. Skellett1 has carried out a calculation of the energy received by the earth due to impact of the meteors and finds that during a meteoric shower it might be so high as a fourteenth of that due to ultra-violet light from the sun. He therefore concludes that meteoric showers might be one of the factors disturbing the ionisation of the upper atmosphere. In order to find if any correlation exists between the occurrence of the two phenomena, Schafer and Goodall2 measured the height of the E-region during the Leonid meteoric shower of 1931. They found that on some nights the ionic density attained high values. Unfortunately, their observations were vitiated by a magnetic storm which was in progress at that time. Though they were unable to draw any definite conclusion regarding the correlation, they summarise their observations by saying that there is reason to believe that the presence of meteors in unusual numbers can cause increased ionisation of an intermittent nature in the region of the lower layer.

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  1. 1

    A. M. Skellett, Proc. Inst. Radio Eng., 20, 1933; 1932.

  2. 2

    J. P. Schafer and W. M. Goodall, Proc. Inst. Radio Eng., 20, 1941; 1932.

  3. 3

    E. V. Appleton, NATURE, 127, 197; Feb. 7, 1931.

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