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Sublimation of Interplanetary Dust

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2018

Tadashi Mukai*
Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sci., Faculty of Sci., Kobe Univ., Nada, Kobe 657, Japan


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Three topics are briefly reviewed to examine evidence for the nature of dust grains and grain alteration by physical processes related to mainly sublimation. Namely, (1) a change of dust flux detected by in situ dust measurements beyond ~ 2 AU from the Sun suggests a disappearance of volatile ices due to sublimation below this distance, (2) an elongation angle dependence of Doppler shifts observed in the zodiacal light can be explained by the introduction of a dependence of the orbital velocity on the radiation pressure forces acting on the grains, taking into account a variation of dust structure with heliocentric distance, and (3) the variation of color temperature observed in cometary coma suggests a loss of carbon content from cometary dust grains due to sublimation. This piece of evidence agrees with the generation of carbon-bearing molecules from extended sources, as infered from observations in cometary comae.

XII. Physical Processes and Laboratory Analyses
Copyright © Astronomical Society of the Pacific 1996


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