EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 507, Number 3, December I 2009
Page(s) L41 - L43
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200913136
Published online 04 November 2009
A&A 507, L41-L43 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200913136


Interaction of interplanetary dust particles with magnetic clouds

Effects on the orbital evolution
M. Wagner1 and R. F. Wimmer-Schweingruber2

1  Sternwarte Hamburg, University of Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
    e-mail: mwagner@hs.uni-hamburg.de
2  Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, University of Kiel, Leibnitzstrasse 11, 24118 Kiel, Germany
    e-mail: wimmer@physik.uni-kiel.de

Received 18 August 2009 / Accepted 21 October 2009

Context. The interaction of the solar wind with interplanetary dust in the inner solar system appears to result in the formation of inner-source pickup ions. The flux of these ions is roughly two orders of magnitude larger than expected based on established dust particle profiles. This discrepancy can be resolved, if a population of very small (~0.02 $\mu$m) dust particles exists in the vicinity of the Sun (within 0.2 AU). The encounter with a magnetic cloud exerts a sudden magnetic perturbation on the orbital parameters of charged interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) of sizes <1 $\mu$m, which may expel them from the solar system.
Aims. The grains gain additional velocity components caused by the Lorentz force. Depending on the orientation of the fluxrope towards the dust grain's undisturbed orbital motion, the deflection can increase the orbital eccentricity or the inclination.
Methods. The degree of orbital disturbance for each encounter is calculated numerically.
Results. The “blow-out distance” can be approximated as a function of the grain radius, s, alone: D(s) = 28.183$\cdot$s – 0.308. On the other hand, the change in inclination depends on both the heliocentric distance, r, as well as the size of the grain: I(s, r) = 0.124$\cdot$r1.814$\cdot$s-1.949. The interaction of magnetic clouds with IDPs can contribute to the dust flux and acts as a sink for small dust grains.

Key words: Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) -- solar wind -- magnetic fields

© ESO 2009