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Detailed analysis has been revealed about the 144 fireballs that came from the Taurid meteor shower, which had been observed by the European Fireball Network back in 2015 showed an orbital structure that was well defined, has been responsible for the Taurid activity that was enhanced during the same year. The comparison of the Orbit revealed that a new branch of Taurids has at least two asteroids that are about 200 to 300 meters in size.
Many More Asteroids Of Huge Size May Not Have Been Discovered Yet
It is thought that many more have still not been discovered just yet but may be a decameter or perhaps even bigger in size and impact hazards may increase a great deal when Earth encounters the new Taurid branch every few years.
The Taurid meteoroid stream is known to produce four meteor showers on Earth and two are active during the night from the end of September until December and two of them occur during the day from May to around the middle of July. The comet 2P/Encke is thought to be one of the most probable parent bodies of the Taurid stream. It has also been said that 2P/Encke may be just a fragment of what had been a comet that was much bigger, which may have disrupted many thousands of years previously and this is what formed the Taurid complex, which includes many asteroids.
Taurid Activity Is A Lot Higher Than Usual
The Taurid activity has been higher than they usually are and more so when it comes to bigger numbers of bright meteors, which are known as fireballs. The analysis was made of the 144 Taurid fireballs while the activity was enhanced. Orbits of 113 fireballs did show characteristics that were common and they formed together to make an orbital structure that is well-defined. The orbits were said to have longitudes of perihelia that were around 155.9 to 160 degrees and the latitude was between 4.2 and 5.7 degrees and they are able to form a concentric ring in the inner solar system.
The masses of the meteoroids that were seen were said to be in a range that was wide and from 0.1 grams to 1000kg. All of the meteoroids were bigger than 300 grams and were said to be very fragile, with those being smaller were said to be more compact and about 30 grams.
Some Asteroids Are Several Hundred Meters In Diameter
The fireball data has been proof of the presence of meter-sized bodies in the new branch of Taurid. It is thought that asteroids of some several hundred meters in diameter may belong to the new Taurid branch. It is almost certain that this applies to asteroid 2015 TX24 and possibly for 2005 UR and 2005 TF50.
The Taurid branch that has been discovered is a population of bodies that have a range of sizes from only several millimeters to many hundred meters and they all move together going around the Sun. The narrow range of the orbital parameters of the branch does make the association with the Taurids, with the asteroids they are more reliable that they were before.
Each few years Earth is coming across the branch and this lasts for a period of around three weeks. In this time the chances of an asteroid that is sizeable is enhanced significantly. Even if it was intrinsically weaker the bodies of this size would be enough to be able to penetrate deep into the atmosphere and they would be a hazard to the ground.
More studies which lead to even better descriptions of the source of what may potentially be hazardous objects is needed. They may end up being big enough to be able to cause significant damage regionally or maybe even continental damage, so it is imperative to find out. The discovery of the dark cometary bodies has been complicated thanks to them having low albedos. Big telescopes, along with favorable geometric conditions of observations are needed.