Search for Extraterrestrial Origin of Atmospheric Trace Molecules — Radio Sub-MM Observations during the Leonids

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To identify the effect of meteor showers on the molecular content of the upper atmosphere of the Earth, we have carried out ground-based observations of atmospheric HCN. HCN radio observations at CSO (Hawaii) on Nov 18/19, 1999, the night after the second Leonid shower maximum, show unusually low HCN abundances above 45 km altitude, which are only recovered after sunrise. We also investigated UARS/HALOE satellite data on H2O and O3. No correlation appears of year round H2O and O3 around 55 km with annual meteor showers, nor with meteor activity at the time of the 1998 Leonid shower.

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