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Title: DYNAMICAL MODEL FOR THE ZODIACAL CLOUD AND SPORADIC METEORS

Abstract

The solar system is dusty, and would become dustier over time as asteroids collide and comets disintegrate, except that small debris particles in interplanetary space do not last long. They can be ejected from the solar system by Jupiter, thermally destroyed near the Sun, or physically disrupted by collisions. Also, some are swept by the Earth (and other planets), producing meteors. Here we develop a dynamical model for the solar system meteoroids and use it to explain meteor radar observations. We find that the Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) are the main source of the prominent concentrations of meteors arriving at the Earth from the helion and antihelion directions. To match the radiant and orbit distributions, as measured by the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) and Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar (AMOR), our model implies that comets, and JFCs in particular, must frequently disintegrate when reaching orbits with low perihelion distance. Also, the collisional lifetimes of millimeter particles may be longer ({approx}> 10{sup 5} yr at 1 AU) than postulated in the standard collisional models ({approx}10{sup 4} yr at 1 AU), perhaps because these chondrule-sized meteoroids are stronger than thought before. Using observations of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite to calibrate the model,more » we find that the total cross section and mass of small meteoroids in the inner solar system are (1.7-3.5) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11} km{sup 2} and {approx}4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 19} g, respectively, in a good agreement with previous studies. The mass input required to keep the zodiacal cloud in a steady state is estimated to be {approx}10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} kg s{sup -1}. The input is up to {approx}10 times larger than found previously, mainly because particles released closer to the Sun have shorter collisional lifetimes and need to be supplied at a faster rate. The total mass accreted by the Earth in particles between diameters D = 5 {mu}m and 1 cm is found to be {approx}15,000 tons yr{sup -1} (factor of two uncertainty), which is a large share of the accretion flux measured by the Long Term Duration Facility. The majority of JFC particles plunge into the upper atmosphere at <15 km s{sup -1} speeds, should survive the atmospheric entry, and can produce micrometeorite falls. This could explain the compositional similarity of samples collected in the Antarctic ice and stratosphere, and those brought from comet Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Meteor radars such as CMOR and AMOR see only a fraction of the accretion flux ({approx}1%-10% and {approx}10%-50%, respectively), because small particles impacting at low speeds produce ionization levels that are below these radars' detection capabilities.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St., Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)
  2. Space Weather Laboratory, Code 674, GSFC/NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  3. Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22004484
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 743; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANTARCTIC REGIONS; ASTEROIDS; COMETS; INTERPLANETARY SPACE; JUPITER PLANET; METEORITES; ORBITS; RADAR; SOLAR SYSTEM; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; STRATOSPHERE; SUN; TOTAL CROSS SECTIONS

Citation Formats

Nesvorny, David, Vokrouhlicky, David, Pokorny, Petr, Bottke, William F., Janches, Diego, and Jenniskens, Peter. DYNAMICAL MODEL FOR THE ZODIACAL CLOUD AND SPORADIC METEORS. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/743/2/129.
Nesvorny, David, Vokrouhlicky, David, Pokorny, Petr, Bottke, William F., Janches, Diego, & Jenniskens, Peter. DYNAMICAL MODEL FOR THE ZODIACAL CLOUD AND SPORADIC METEORS. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/743/2/129.
Nesvorny, David, Vokrouhlicky, David, Pokorny, Petr, Bottke, William F., Janches, Diego, and Jenniskens, Peter. Tue . "DYNAMICAL MODEL FOR THE ZODIACAL CLOUD AND SPORADIC METEORS". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/743/2/129.
@article{osti_22004484,
title = {DYNAMICAL MODEL FOR THE ZODIACAL CLOUD AND SPORADIC METEORS},
author = {Nesvorny, David and Vokrouhlicky, David and Pokorny, Petr and Bottke, William F. and Janches, Diego and Jenniskens, Peter},
abstractNote = {The solar system is dusty, and would become dustier over time as asteroids collide and comets disintegrate, except that small debris particles in interplanetary space do not last long. They can be ejected from the solar system by Jupiter, thermally destroyed near the Sun, or physically disrupted by collisions. Also, some are swept by the Earth (and other planets), producing meteors. Here we develop a dynamical model for the solar system meteoroids and use it to explain meteor radar observations. We find that the Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) are the main source of the prominent concentrations of meteors arriving at the Earth from the helion and antihelion directions. To match the radiant and orbit distributions, as measured by the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) and Advanced Meteor Orbit Radar (AMOR), our model implies that comets, and JFCs in particular, must frequently disintegrate when reaching orbits with low perihelion distance. Also, the collisional lifetimes of millimeter particles may be longer ({approx}> 10{sup 5} yr at 1 AU) than postulated in the standard collisional models ({approx}10{sup 4} yr at 1 AU), perhaps because these chondrule-sized meteoroids are stronger than thought before. Using observations of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite to calibrate the model, we find that the total cross section and mass of small meteoroids in the inner solar system are (1.7-3.5) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11} km{sup 2} and {approx}4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 19} g, respectively, in a good agreement with previous studies. The mass input required to keep the zodiacal cloud in a steady state is estimated to be {approx}10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} kg s{sup -1}. The input is up to {approx}10 times larger than found previously, mainly because particles released closer to the Sun have shorter collisional lifetimes and need to be supplied at a faster rate. The total mass accreted by the Earth in particles between diameters D = 5 {mu}m and 1 cm is found to be {approx}15,000 tons yr{sup -1} (factor of two uncertainty), which is a large share of the accretion flux measured by the Long Term Duration Facility. The majority of JFC particles plunge into the upper atmosphere at <15 km s{sup -1} speeds, should survive the atmospheric entry, and can produce micrometeorite falls. This could explain the compositional similarity of samples collected in the Antarctic ice and stratosphere, and those brought from comet Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Meteor radars such as CMOR and AMOR see only a fraction of the accretion flux ({approx}1%-10% and {approx}10%-50%, respectively), because small particles impacting at low speeds produce ionization levels that are below these radars' detection capabilities.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/743/2/129},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 743,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {12}
}