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Detection of Interstellar Dust with STEREO/WAVES at 1 AU

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Abstract

Most in situ measurements of cosmic dust have been carried out with dedicated dust instruments. However, dust particles can also be detected with radio and plasma wave instruments. The high velocity impact of a dust particle generates a small crater on the spacecraft, and the dust particle and the crater material are vaporised and partly ionised. The resulting electric charge can be detected with plasma instruments designed to measure electric waves. Since 2007 the STEREO/WAVES instrument has recorded a large number of events due to dust impacts. Here we will concentrate on the study of those impacts produced by dust grains originating from the local interstellar cloud. We present these fluxes during five years of the STEREO mission. Based on model calculations, we determine the direction of arrival of interstellar dust. We find that the interstellar dust direction of arrival is ∼260, in agreement with previous studies.

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Correspondence to S. Belheouane.

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The Sun 360

Guest Editors: Bernhard Fleck, Bernd Heber, Angelos Vourlidas

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Belheouane, S., Zaslavsky, A., Meyer-Vernet, N. et al. Detection of Interstellar Dust with STEREO/WAVES at 1 AU. Sol Phys 281, 501–506 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-012-9995-7

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Keywords

  • Interstellar dust
  • STEREO/WAVES
  • Interplanetary dust
  • Radio antennas