Meteor Research Group (MRG)

Within the Meteor Research Group of ESA, we perform research in the field of meteors and meteoroids. We operate a double-station video camera setup on the Canary Islands called CILBO. It has been collecting meteoroid orbits since 2012. We are using our own meteor orbit determination software, called MOTS, developed in 2002. The current version includes Monte Carlo modelling of the measurement errors, to obtain error estimates of the orbital elements. An additional camera with an objective grating allows us to obtain spectra, thus constraining the composition of the meteoroids.

In Feb 2017, we installed an all-sky camera of the French FRIPON network on the roof of ESTEC. We are in the process of expanding this network over the Netherlands. In Dec 2017, we have added a second camera in Oostkapelle, with more to come. We are also working closely together with the NELIOTA team in Greece, analyzing lunar impact flashes.

Our main science interests are meteoroid flux densities and their orbital parameters. We have developed elaborate de-biasing methods to analyse our CILBO data in that respect and are working on extending that to the FRIPON data. We are characterising the composition of meteoroids, and study lunar impact flashes.

If you want to work in our team, there are several posibilities - apply as an intern or Research Fellow. We work together with the University of Oldenburg and the Technical University of Munich, both in Germany, where we regulary offer Bachelor's, Master's or Ph.D. theses.

In addition to the two mentioned universities, we cooperate closely with the University of Stuttgart, Germany, the IMCCE and Obs. Paris, France, the Observatory of Athens, Greece, and the DLR Berlin, Germany. We are working closely together with the near-Earth object segment of ESA's Space Situational Awareness programme and the Space Environment Section of ESA's Technical Directorate.

See some highlights of our work below, or in the 'news archive' accessible via the menu on the left. Or check out directly some of our projects and our equipment via the menu on the left.

Enjoy browsing our pages - Detlef Koschny, Chrysa Avdellidou, Regina Rudawska, Hakan Svedhem, Andrea Toni, Olivier Witasse, Joe Zender - July 2018

--- Recent news ---

Asteroid Day

2018-06-30 - ESA's Science Support Office's Meteor Research Group has participated in Asteroid Day 2018. As part of a 2-hour video stream prepared by ESA, we explained different things related to asteroids, meteors, fireballs... The image to the right shows a recording which was done to support this, on the roof of ESTEC, with our intern Kristiane Schmidt. Kristiane is working on her Master's thesis at the University of Oldenburg, using our double-station meteor data from the Canary Islands.

Installing the second FRIPON camera in Oostkapelle

2018 Feb 24 - In Dec 2017, we have installed a second FRIPON camera in Oostkapelle, Zeeland, at the observatory of Klaas Jobse. We had recorded one smaller fireball together - last night we recorded one around lunar brightness! The camera directly after ihstallation can be seen on the left image. The right image shows the fireball over the FRIPON camera, as recorded by K. Joobse's color camera (image credit: Astronomy! Project Oostkapelle/Jobse).

For more news, see the news archive.