Meteor heights during the recent solar minimum
- Institute for Meteorology, University of Leipzig, Stephanstr. 3, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Abstract. Average meteor heights have been continuously observed using a SKiYMET VHF radar at Collm (51.3° N, 13.0° E) since late summer of 2004. Initially, the daily mean meteor height was about 89.4 km. Since that time, average meteor heights have decreased. This is consistent with earlier results on middle atmosphere temperature change from the literature and from earlier results of low-frequency reflection height changes measured at Kühlungsborn and Collm. During the recent solar minimum 2008/2009 the meteor heights further decreased. Linear fitting of a trend and a solar cycle to the heights reveals a linear decrease of about −56 m year−1 and a solar cycle effect of +450 m per 100 sfu. Assuming that meteor heights, on a long-term average, approximately refer to a level of constant pressure, this decrease can be converted to a mean middle atmosphere linear temperature decrease of −0.23 K year−1 and a solar cycle effect of +1.8 K per 100 sfu during the last decade, which is in the range of observed trends reported in the literature.