Evidence for dust accumulation just outside the orbit of Venus
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 7 June 2007
Aims.To contribute to the knowledge of dynamics of interplanetary dust by searching for structures in the spatial distribution of interplanetary dust near the orbit of Venus.
Methods.We study the radial gradient of zodiacal light brightness, as observed by the zodiacal light photometer on board the Helios space probes on several orbits from 1975 to 1979. The cleanest data result from Helios B (=Helios 2) launched in January 1976.
Results.With respect to the general increase of zodiacal light brightness towards the Sun, the data show an excess brightness of a few percent for positions of the Helios space probe just outside the orbit of Venus.
Conclusions.We consider this as evidence for a dust ring associated with the orbit of Venus, somewhat similar to that found earlier along the Earth's orbit.
Key words: space vehicles: instruments / interplanetary medium / techniques: photometric
© ESO, 2007