Solar Wind Magnetic Field Bending of Jovian Dust Trajectories

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1501-1503
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1501


From September 1991 to October 1992, the cosmic dust detector on the Ulysses spacecraft recorded 11 short bursts, or streams, of dust. These dust grains emanated from the jovian system, and their trajectories were strongly affected by solar wind magnetic field forces. Analyses of the on-board measurements of these fields, and of stream approach directions, show that stream-associated dust grain masses are of the order of 10−18 gram and dust grain velocities exceed 200 kilometers per second. These masses and velocities are, respectively, about 103 times less massive and 5 to 10 times faster than earlier reported.