Discovery of interstellar dust entering the Earth's atmosphere

Taylor, A.D. and Baggaley, W.J and Steel, D.I (1996) Discovery of interstellar dust entering the Earth's atmosphere. Nature, 380 (6572). pp. 323-325. ISSN 0028-0836. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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ALL known asteroids and comets are believed to have been gravitationally bound to the Sun since they formed (together with the Sun and planets) from the solar nebula, This is because no such object has been observed with a speed exceeding the solar escape velocity, although some comets have been close to this limit(1). As comets are occasionally ejected from the Solar System, interstellar comets might be expected to arrive every few centuries, having been ejected from similar systems around other stars(2). The flux of interstellar dust into the Solar System should be much higher, but its detection poses significant technological challenges, Recently, the Ulysses spacecraft detected a population of dust particles near Jupiter, identified as being of interstellar origin on the basis of their speeds and trajectories(3,4). Here we report the radar detection of interstellar particles in the Earth's atmosphere, From intra-annual variations in particle flux, we infer the existence of two discrete sources, one associated with nearby A-type stars, and the other with the Sun's motion about the Galactic Centre, The data also suggest the presence of a third source, possibly associated with local B-type stars and young stellar clusters.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences > Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: P. Ogbuji
Date Deposited: 02 May 2009 18:13
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 10:00
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