In this review article, a modern theory of meteor body motion in the atmosphere is described. The theory is based on the results of high-speed aerodynamics. The author understands that such an application is difficult and unusual. The difference between space vehicle aerodynamics and bolide physics is, first of all, in absence of knowledge about shapes of meteoroids and of their physical-mechanical properties. On the other hand, the main aerodynamical laws are the same for vehicles and meteoroids. This permits one to achieve some new developments in meteor physics. In the first section, a simple analytical model for meteor trajectories is developed. The second and fourth sections of the article contain high-speed aerodynamics results: inviscid gas flow past bodies, and convective and radiative heat transfer. The third section is devoted to one of the difficult problems in meteor physics-the theory of meteoroid destruction due to aerodynamical loading. Finally, the fifth section contains some common questions on bolide phenomema. For the solution of meteor physics problems, both analytical and numerical methods are used. As such problems contain a number of determining parameters which are not accurately known, the analytical methods are preferable. The numerical methods are necessary for calculation of complex gasdynamical structures forming during the motion of the meteor bodies in the atmosphere. There are 50 references included at the end of this article.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.