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Dust observations from Parker Solar Probe: Dust ejection from the inner Solar System

AuthorMann, I.; Czechowski, A.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; parker solar probe; Solar Probe Plus
AbstractContext. The FIELDS instrument onboard Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observes dust impacts on the spacecraft. The derived dust flux rates suggest that the particles originate from the vicinities of the Sun and are ejected by radiation pressure. Radiation pressure typically ejects particles of several 100 nm and smaller, which are also affected by the electromagnetic force. \ Aims: We aim to understand the influence of the electromagnetic force on the dust trajectories and to predict the dust fluxes along the orbit of PSP, within 1 AU and near Earth. \ Methods: We study the trajectories of dust particles influenced by gravity, radiation pressure, and the electromagnetic force assuming that pitch-angle scattering can be neglected (scatter-free approximation). We estimate the dust fluxes along the second orbit of PSP and in the vicinity of the Earth based on average dust velocities derived from the trajectory calculations and dust production rates derived from a fragmentation model. \ Results: The calculated cumulative flux of dust particles larger than 100 nm is of the same order (within a factor of \raisebox-0.5ex\textasciitilde2) as implied by PSP observations. In this size interval, the dynamics of most particles is dominated by the radiation pressure force. The Lorentz force becomes more important for smaller particles and fluxes can vary with magnetic field conditions. The calculated flux of the 30 to 75 nm particles at the PSP is negligible for most of the second orbit, except for an isolated peak at the perihelion. The 30-75 nm particles that were created inwards from 0.16 AU from the Sun are in trapped orbits if the radiation pressure force is weaker than gravity, which is the case for dust from asteroids and for cometary dust that was altered in space. \ Conclusions: The inner Solar System is the most likely source of dust smaller than 100 nm that enters Earth s atmosphere and our results suggest the flux is time- variable.
Year of Publication2020
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Number of PagesA29
Date Publishedjun