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Meteoroids 2007

an international conference at the

Cosmocaixa Museum

organized by the

Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya

Barcelona, Spain

June 11-15, 2007



This conference will be the sixth in a series of meteoroid meetings that have been held every few years since 1993, the last being in the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 2004. It will accommodate a broad range of meteoroid research: orbital dynamics, sources and distribution of these bodies, the physics and chemistry of their interaction process with the atmosphere as well as their origin and link with minor bodies: asteroids and comets. Due to the exciting new results of interplanetary missions to study asteroids and comets, special sessions will be devoted to these bodies with emphasis on meteoroid origin and chemical composition.

In the last decade research on minor bodies was revitalized in Spain. The Spanish Meteor and Fireball Network (SPMN) is an interdisciplinary group of research that has joint efforts in the study of meteors, fireballs, and meteorite falls. The study of the Villalbeto de la Peña bolide that occurred on Jan 4, 2004 allowed them to make the first meteorite recovery in Spain in 57 years, and to establish the first heliocentric orbit of a meteorite fallen in Spain. The members of this team form the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) that is committed to promote developing this research field in Spain, and the newly established Spanish Fireball Network. The Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) includes some of the most prominent researchers in topical areas that are scheduled for this international meeting. The organization of this meeting in Barcelona will bring to Spain the latest developments in several research areas such as meteoroids, comets, asteroids, meteorites, micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles, astrobiology, and laboratory simulations. All together this meeting will provide a unique opportunity to all students and researchers in these fields to learn of first hand the latest studies on minor bodies. The main objective of this meeting is to provide an updated view of the advances made in our knowledge of interplanetary matter. To encourage student participation special registration prices will be available as well as a limited number of travel grants for participants from foreign countries.


In 1961 the International Astronomical Union Nomenclature Committee defined a meteoroid as a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid but considerably larger than an atom. Bodies in the upper limit (i.e. larger than 10 meters) are defined as asteroids or comets. The study of meteoroids in an astrophysical and cosmochemical context is important because, while asteroids and comets rarely collide with the Earth, meteoroids are continuously reaching the terrestrial atmosphere thereby participating in the continuous accretion of interplanetary matter to our planet. It is likely that the accretion of meteoroids during the early stages of planetary formation was an important source for water, organics, and other volatiles probably essential prior to the development of life. The study of the atmospheric interaction of meteoroids with the atmosphere under the present and past physico-chemical conditions is an area of considerable interest in astrobiology.

Meteoroids reaching the Earth are sampling numerous minor bodies in the solar system, and, more rarely, the Moon and Mars. The study of the meteor, phase that a meteoroid produce when entering into the atmosphere, can provide valuable clues on the origin, composition, and age of these particles reaching the Earth.

Meter-sized meteoroids are able to survive atmospheric interaction, producing impressive luminous events called fireballs or bolides. Their fragments that survived ablation and reached the Earth's surface are called meteorites. Meteor studies can help us to answer fascinating questions such as "are all types of incoming meteoroids well represented in the meteorite collections?"

The meteoroids are interplanetary bodies following heliocentric orbits. Due to their relative small masses they suffer appreciable orbital changes produced by planetary perturbations and non-gravitational effects on very short timescales. Consequently, detailed orbital studies are valuable to understand better dust trails' orbital evolution and meteoroid stream dispersion. Estimates of the spatial fluxes and mass distributions of meteoroid streams produced by asteroids and comets provide direct information on the evolution, dust production and destruction rates of minor bodies in the solar system.

Direct information on the size distribution of meteoroids reaching the Earth is providing valuable data to assess the impact hazard. Direct applications to forecast the intersection of dense cometary dust trails can help in the protection of artificial satellites orbiting the Earth. An important aspect of the potentially impact hazards posed by Near Earth Objects would be the low-strength of their material. Minor meteor streams intercepting the Earth are sampling these objects, and providing evidence for the evolution of comets into asteroids.


The following scientific areas are included in this meeting:

* Dynamics, sources and spatial distribution of meteoroids including sporadic, swarm and interstellar meteoroids

* Physics and chemistry of meteoroid interaction process in the atmosphere including both head echo and trail effects

* Meteor spectroscopy and chemical composition of meteoroids

* Interplanetary dust particles and micrometeorites and their link to meteoroids

* Hypervelocity meteoroid impacts on the Moon and with spacecraft

* New techniques for detection of meteors and fireballs

With observations done with the following methods:

* Meteor detection including cameras, telescopes, lidar, seismic and infrasound sensors

* Radar observations and large aperture radars

* In-situ measurements of meteoroids: IDPs, micrometeorites, and meteorites.


Scientific Organizing Committee:

Dr. Peter Brown

University of Western Ontario, Canada

Dr. Valeri Dikarev

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Prof. Robert Hawkes

Mount Allison University, Canada

Dr. Diego Janches

NorthWest Research Associate/ CoRA Division, Boulder, CO, USA

Dr. Peter Jenniskens

NASA/Ames Research Center, CA, USA

Prof. Jordi Llorca

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Prof. Ingrid Mann

Institute of Planetology, University of Münster, Germany

Dr. Asta Pellinen-Wannberg

Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden

Dr. Olga Popova

Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres, Russian Academy of Science, Russia

Dr. Douglas O. ReVelle

Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA

Prof. Frans J. Rietmeijer

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Dr. Pavel Spurny

Astronomical Institute, Ondrejov, Czech Republic

Dr. Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez

Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Dr. Junichi Watanabe

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan

Prof. Iwan Williams

University of London, UK

Local Organizing Committee:

Prof. Jordi Isern (ICE-CSIC)

Dr. Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez, chair (ICE-CSIC)

Prof. Jordi Llorca, co-chair (UPC)

Mireia Espanyol (secretary)

Dr. José L. Ortiz (IAA-CSIC)

Dr. Alberto J. Castro-Tirado (IAA-CSIC)

Prof. José A. Docobo (USC)

Webmaster: Santi Oliveras


The following is a list of confirmed invited speakers. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.

Dr. Clark Chapman, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO, USA

Dr. Peter Brown, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Dr. Jiri Borovicka, Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic

Dr. Matthew Genge, Imperial College of London, London, UK

Dr. Diego Janches, NorthWest Research Associate/ CoRA Division, Boulder, CO, USA

Dr. Peter Jenniskens, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA, USA

Dr. José L. Ortiz, Instituto Astrofísica Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Granada, Spain

Dr. Joseph A. Nuth, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Dr. Olga Popova, Russian Academy of Science, Russia

Dr. Douglas O. ReVelle, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA

Prof. Frans J.M. Rietmeijer, Institute of Meteoritics, Univ. New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA

Dr. Pavel Spurny, Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic

Dr. Josep M. Trigo-Rodríguez, Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Dr. Junichi Watanabe, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan

Prof. Iwan Williams, University of London, UK


Conference e-mail address:

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