Dust arcs in the region of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids
Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Received: 6 April 2017
Accepted: 26 October 2017
Aims. The surfaces of the Trojan asteroids are steadily bombarded by interplanetary micrometeoroids, which releases ejecta of small dust particles. These particles form the faint dust arcs that are associated with asteroid clouds. Here we analyze the particle dynamics and structure of the arc in the region of the L4 Trojan asteroids.
Methods. We calculate the total cross section of the L4 Trojan asteroids and the production rate of dust particles. The motion of the particles is perturbed by a variety of forces. We simulate the dynamical evolution of the dust particles, and explore the overall features of the Trojan dust arc.
Results. The simulations show that the arc is mainly composed of grains in the size range 4−10 microns. Compared to the L4 Trojan asteroids, the dust arc is distributed more widely in the azimuthal direction, extending to a range of [30, 120] degrees relative to Jupiter. The peak number density does not develop at L4. There exist two peaks that are azimuthally displaced from L4.
Key words: meteorites, meteors, meteoroids / planets and satellites: rings / minor planets, asteroids: general / zodiacal dust / celestial mechanics / solar wind
© ESO, 2018