DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 39. Solar System Dust Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Friday, November 30, 2001, 9:00-10:30am, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[39.01] Velocity Distributions of Interplanetary Dust Derived from Astronomical Sky Spectra

D. L. Huestis, S. Ali, P. C. Cosby, T. G. Slanger (SRI International)

Characterization of interplanetary dust is important for understanding the creation by accretion of planets and moons, the development of planetary atmospheres, and, potentially, for the initiation of prebiotic chemistry. The recent COBE mission has provided a profile in ecliptic coordinates of the distribution of interplanetary dust particles through their thermal infrared emission. Additional information about interplanetary dust can be extracted from its visible spectrum of scattered sunlight, called Zodiacal Light.

Night sky spectra taken at large-aperture telescopes using high-resolution echelle spectrographs reveal Fraunhofer absorption features in the Zodiacal Light spectrum of scattered sunlight, a nuisance in subtraction from the spectrum of the extraterrestrial object under investigation. We are analyzing the intensity modulations and Doppler shifts of solar Fraunhofer absorption lines in the Zodiacal Light component of sky spectra, donated by collaborating astronomers using Keck/HIRES and other high-performance astronomical facilities. Our objectives include velocity distributions of interplanetary dust and improved separation of terrestrial and extraterrestrial sources in sky spectra.

Participation of S. Ali was made possible by a grant from the NSF Physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www-mpl.sri.com/projects/pyu02424.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: david.huestis@sri.com

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