Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 144, Issue 1–2, pp 215–229 | Cite as

Charged dust in the Earth's magnetosphere

I. Physical and dynamical processes
  • M. Horanyi
  • H. L. F. Houpis
  • D. A. Mendis


We have considered the electrodynamic effects on small Al2O3 spherules dumped into the Earth's magnetosphere in large quantities during solid rocket propellant burns. The charges acquired by these grains in all regions of the terrestrial environment (plasmasphere, magnetosphere, and solar wind) are modest. Consequently electrodynamic effects are significant only at the lower end of the dust size spectrum (Rg≲0.1 μm). In that case, the electrodynamic forces conspire with solar radiation pressure to eliminate the grains from the magnetosphere in a comparatively short time. Although not studied here in detail, we anticipate a similar fate for fine micrometeoroids entering the Earth's magnetosphere, with the electro-dynamic effects playing an even more important role.


Dust Al2O3 Solar Radiation Solar Wind Radiation Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Horanyi
    • 1
  • H. L. F. Houpis
    • 2
  • D. A. Mendis
    • 3
  1. 1.Supercomputer Computational Research InstituteFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Space Physics Laboratory, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic ScienceThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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