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IMC 2012: Meteor

IMC 2012

In this International Meteor Conference Special Edition, we bring you a selection of interviews from the IMC, held in La Palma, Canary Islands.

Interview with Paul Roggemans

Paul Roggemans, one of the founding members of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) tells us about the history and mantra of the IMO and how the International Meteor Conference (IMC) initially came about. He also talks about this year's conference, the plans for next year's conference and tells us how to get involved with the IMC and the IMO.

Interview with Sirko Molau

Sirko Molau from the Arbeitskreis Meteore (AKM) in Germany tells us how meteor showers and meteor storms are formed and their differences. He also discusses the differences between showers, storms and sporadic meteors. He goes on to tell us how meteor observations are done and how the methods of meteor observation have changed in recent times. He also goes on to discuss his work on normalising observations of meteors so different showers and observations can be properly compared.

Interview with Filip Novoselnik & Denis Vida

Filip Novoselnik and Denis Vida from the Astronomical Society "Anonymus" in Croatia, have detected a potential new meteor stream using the Croatian Meteor Network - a network of 30 cameras across Croatia. In their interview they discuss the method and programs they used to identify this stream and how it is that such a stream could be undetected.

Interview with Dr Johan Kero

Dr Johan Kero from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics talks to us about meteor head and trail echoes. In his interview, he tells us what the head and trail echoes of meteors are, how they are formed and how it is possible to detect them. He goes on to talk about the radar systems used to observe them and mentions specific instruments (the Middle and Upper Atmosphere Radar (MU Radar) in Japan and the European Incoherent Scatter Facility (EISCAT)), as well as the number and types of meteors detected on an average observing run.

Interview with Dr Gerhard Drolshagen

Dr Gerhard Drolshagen from the European Space Agency talks to us about ESA's Space Situational Awareness program, including work on Near Earth Objects and the new Fireball Database. He begins by telling us what the Space Situational Awareness program is, and what sort of objects they look for, as well as discussing the definition of a Near Earth Object (NEO) and how they detect them. He also discusses mapping the objects in the solar system, and how they can do calculations of the orbits of objects for 100 years in the future. He goes on to tell us more about fireballs and the Fireball Database, and how the data will be freely available online, but also how the data will rely on local fireball networks, and other observers to report fireballs.

Interview with Francisco Ocaña

Francisco 'Paco' Ocaña, a PhD student at UCM, Madrid talks to us about his work on Draconids observations. He discusses us where meteoroids come from and tells us about his work on balloon observations, including details about the previous mission during the Draconids and plans for the next mission during the Geminids where they hope to get the first meteor observations from a balloon. He tells us that the balloons observe at 35km high which allows them to produce better observations than from the ground, but not as good as aeroplane observations - but the cost is much lower. Paco also tells us about fireballs and how they observe them from their city-based observatory.

Interview with Sheila Crosby

Sheila Crosby is a Starlight Guide on La Palma. In her interview she discusses the many telescopes at La Roque de Las Muchachas Observatory, one of the best locations in the world for optical and infrared astronomy. She talks about the different telescopes that are there and some of the history of the observatory. She also tells us how tourists are able to visit the observatory.

Interview with Ana Castañeda

Ana Castañeda from the Cabildo Insular de La Palma (Canary Islands, Spain) tells us about astrotourism on La Palma. She begins by explaining what astrotourism is and why La Palma is suited to it. She discusses future plans for tourist and amateur observatories, astronomical viewpoints and the involvement of local establishments in astrotourism.

Show Credits

Interview:Paul Roggemans and Christina Smith
Interview:Sirko Molau and Christina Smith
Interview:Filip Novoselnik, Denis Vida and Christina Smith
Interview:Johan Kero and Christina Smith
Interview:Gerhard Drolshagen and Christina Smith
Interview:Francisco Ocaña and Christina Smith
Interview:Sheila Crosby and Christina Smith
Interview:Ana Castañeda and Christina Smith
Presenter:Christina Smith
Editors:Christina Smith, Philippa Hartley, Indy Leclerq and Nick Wrigley
Special Thanks:Cabildo Insular de La Palma, International Meteor Organisation and AstroTravels
Segment Voice:Cormac Purcell
Website:Stuart Lowe and Christina Smith
Cover art:The view over the Caldera from the Observatory at the Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain. CREDIT: Pachango, Flickr

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