Dust in the interplanetary medium
Plasma wave instruments
Solar wind velocity
Magnetic field effects
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The mass density of dust particles that form from asteroids and comets in the interplanetary medium of the solar system is, near 1 AU, comparable to the mass density of the solar wind. It is mainly contained in particles of micrometer size and larger. Dust and larger objects are destroyed by collisions and sublimation and hence feed heavy ions into the solar wind and the solar corona. Small dust particles are present in large number and as a result of their large charge to mass ratio deflected by electromagnetic forces in the solar wind. For nanodust particles of sizes sime1–10 nm, recent calculations show trapping near the Sun and outside from about 0.15 AU ejection with velocities close to solar wind velocity. The fluxes of ejected nanodust are detected near 1 AU with the plasma wave instrument onboard the STEREO spacecraft. Although such electric signals have been observed during dust impacts before, the interpretation depends on several different parameters and data analysis is still in progress.
CitationMann, I.; Czechowski, A.; Meyer-Vernet, N.; Zaslavsky, A.; Lamy, H. (2010). Dust in the interplanetary medium. , Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol. 52, Issue 12, 124012, DOI: 10.1088/0741-3335/52/12/124012.