31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 40. Dust
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Thursday, October 14, 1999, 8:30-9:40am, Sala Kursaal

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[40.07] Poynting-Robertson Drag Capture of Interstellar Particles

A. A. Jackson (Lunar and Planetary Institute)

Interstellar dust particles enter the solar system and encounter the sun on hyperbolic orbits. Under Newtonian forces alone these particles should return to the interstellar medium. Dissapative forces, such as Poynting-Robertson drag can modify these orbits [1]. In particular it is possible for the orbits of particles that pass close to the sun to become closed. Further solar irradiation will cause modification of the size of the dust particle by evaporation. The combination of these processes gives rise classes of orbits that include capture and evaporation, capture with spiral orbiting and capture, spiral orbiting with eventual escape. A minimum impact parameter is derived for initial capture by Poynting-Robertson drag. Orbits in the solar radiation field are computed numerically accounting for evaporation. Optical and material properties for interstellar particles are modeled. Types of orbits are identified and resulting distribution of orbit types and physical particle sizes are presented. The possible contribution these captured particles make to the near Sun dust complex and solar system zodiacal cloud is discussed.

[1] Best , G.T. and Patterson, T. N. L., Planet. Space Sci., 1962, Vol. 9, pp. 801 to 809.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: aajackso@ems.jsc.nasa.gov

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