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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-240
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-240
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Optical properties of meteoric smoke analogues

Tasha Aylett1, James S. A. Brooke1, Alexander D. James1, Mario Nachbar2, Denis Duft2, Thomas Leisner2,3, and John M. C. Plane1 Tasha Aylett et al.
  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 2Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract. Accurate determination of the optical properties of analogues for meteoric smoke particles (MSPs), which are thought to be composed of iron-rich oxides or silicates, is important for their observation and characterization in the atmosphere. In this study, a photochemical aerosol flow reactor (PAFS) has been used to measure the optical extinction of iron oxide MSP analogues in the wavelength range 325–675 nm. The particles were made photochemically, and agglomerate into fractal-like particles with sizes on the order of 100 nm. Analysis using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) suggested the particles were most likely maghemite-like (γ-Fe2O3) in composition. The optical extinction coefficients measured using the PAFS were then combined with maghemite absorption coefficients measured using a complementary experimental system, the MICE-TRAPS, to derive complex refractive indices which are able to reproduce both the measured absorption and extinction.

Tasha Aylett et al.
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Tasha Aylett et al.
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Short summary
Interplanetary dust particles entering the Earth's atmosphere often melt and evaporate, injecting metals such as iron and magnesium into the atmosphere between 80 and 105 km. These metals become oxidized and then coagulate into small particles a few nanometers is size, known as meteoric smoke. In this study, iron oxide smoke particles were created in the laboratory, and their composition and optical properties determined in order to understand satellite measurements.
Interplanetary dust particles entering the Earth's atmosphere often melt and evaporate,...
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