By Brian May

The Zodiacal gentle, that misty diffuse cone of sunshine obvious within the West after sundown and the East earlier than dawn, is a gorgeous and fascinating phenomenon. even supposing every body can benefit from the sight from a definitely darkish situation, it really is poorly understood, and has been the topic of really little study. Brian could begun his examine into the topic in 1970, and was once ultimately presented his PhD in 2007, after a hiatus of greater than 30 years pursuing his different occupation as guitarist along with his rock band Queen. This e-book is Brian’s thesis, and as such provides the result of his study for astronomers.

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Extra info for A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud

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In none of the above scenarios is the € shape of the localised maximum at the antisolar point easy to explain. observed Before leaving this sketch of the state ZL knowledge in 1970-4, when my experiment took place, it is interesting to note that the era of space-borne observations of the interplanetary medium was just beginning, and at this stage, things were not going as well as might have been hoped! Sparrow and Ney (1973), based on data from OSO-5, concluded that there was essentially no variation in the brightness or the polarisation of the ZL from 1969 to 1973.

The excess velocities of collision products will be much less than the orbital speed of the parent particles € (15-20 km/s), so the orbits of the individual fragments will be similar, their orbital elements only slightly perturbed in the beginning. But in only 100 to 1,000 years, this small differential in relative velocity (10-100 m/s), corresponding to a minor dispersion in semi-major axes, produces a thin ‘tube’ of material spread all around the parent asteroid’s orbit. Over the next few thousand years, secular precession randomises Ω, the ascending nodes of the elliptical orbits, producing a toroidal distribution, the extremes of which are observed as dust bands.

Over the next 105 years, Poynting-Robertson drag lessens the eccentricity of the orbits, circularising them, and steadily reduces their semi-major axes. 12 shows the predictions of Grogan et al for the evolution in inclination and ascending node of a typical debris ring as a function of time, this time from a collision in the Koronis family. It can be seen that the end result, is a randomised I f and Ω, such as might contribute to a main continuum, the dust simulated in “Fan” models. e. they are the result of individual, random, catastrophic collision events, rather than the gradual grinding down of asteroid family members.

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