Dust Grain Orbital Behavior Around Ceres

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Physics, abstract

From: Amy Skaggs <>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 16:13:06 GMT   (275kb)
Dust Grain Orbital Behavior Around Ceres

Authors: R. Nazzario, T. W. Hyde, L. Barge
Comments: 8 pages, Presented at COSPAR '03
Report-no: CASPER-03-06
Subj-class: Space Physics

Many asteroids show indications they have undergone impacts with meteoroid particles having radii between 0.01 m and 1 m. During such impacts, small dust grains will be ejected at the impact site. The possibility of these dust grains (with radii greater than 2.2x10-6 m) forming a halo around a spherical asteroid (such as Ceres) is investigated using standard numerical integration techniques. The orbital elements, positions, and velocities are determined for particles with varying radii taking into account both the influence of gravity, radiation pressure, and the interplanetary magnetic field (for charged particles). Under the influence of these forces it is found that dust grains (under the appropriate conditions) can be injected into orbits with lifetimes in excess of one year. The lifetime of the orbits is shown to be highly dependent on the location of the ejection point as well as the angle between the surface normal and the ejection path. It is also shown that only particles ejected within 10 degrees relative to the surface tangential survive more than a few hours and that the longest-lived particles originate along a line perpendicular to the Ceres-Sun line.
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