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A Monte Carlo-type simulation toolbox for Solar System small body dynamics: application to the October Draconids
Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

We present the current status and first results from a Monte Carlo-type simulation toolbox for Solar System small body dynamics. We also present fundamental methods for evaluating the results of this type of simulations using convergence criteria.The calculations consider a body in the Solar System with a mass loss mechanism that generates smaller particles. In our application the body, or parent body, is a comet and the mass loss mechanism is a sublimation process. In order to study mass propagation from parent bodies to Earth, we use the toolbox to sample the uncertainty distributions of relevant comet parameters and to find the resulting Earth influx distributions. The initial distributions considered represent orbital elements, sublimation distance, cometary and meteoroid densities, comet and meteoroid sizes and cometary surface activity. Simulations include perturbations from all major planets, radiation pressure and the Poynting-Robertson effect. In this paper we present the results of an initial software validation performed by producing synthetic versions of the 1933, 1946, 2011 and 2012 October Draconids meteor outbursts and comparing them with observational data and previous models. The synthetic meteor showers were generated by ejecting and propagating material from the recognized parent body of the October Draconids; the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. Material was ejected during 17 perihelion passages between 1866 and 1972. Each perihelion passage was sampled with 50 clones of the parent body, all producing meteoroid streams. The clones were drawn from a multidimensional Gaussian distribution on the orbital elements, with distribution variances proportional to observational uncertainties. In the simulations, each clone ejected 8,000 particles. Each particle was assigned an individual weight proportional to the mass loss it represented. This generated a total of 6.7 million test particles, out of which 43 thousand entered the Earth's Hill sphere during 1900-2020 and were considered encounters. The simulation reproduces the predictions and observations of the 1933, 1946, 2011 and 2012 October Draconids, including the unexpected but measured deviation of the meteoroid mass index from a power law in 2012 as compared to 2011. We show that when convergence is sufficient in the simulation, the fraction between two encountered mass distributions is independent of the assumed input mass distribution. Finally, we predict an outburst for the 2018 October Draconids with a peak on October 8-9 that could be up to twice as large as the 2011 and 2012 outbursts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62441DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2017.03.007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-62441DiVA: diva2:1080990
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Available from: 2017-03-13 Created: 2017-03-13 Last updated: 2017-03-13

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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