Sources of interplanetary dust: Asteroids

  • J. S. Dohnanyi
2 In Measurement of Interplanetary Dust 2.1 Measurements from Satellites and Space Probes
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 48)


The asteroid belt is examined as a potential source of interplanetary dust. Using results from the Pioneer-10 experiments the relative contribution of asteroidal and cometary particles to the Zodiacal cloud is estimated using methods developed in earlier studies of meteoroidal collisions (collisional model). It is found that the contribution of asteroidal particles to dust in the asteroidal belt is small compared with the number density of cometary type particles. Similar conclusions apply to the Zodiacal cloud between the sun and the asteroid belt. When definitive criteria for differentiating between comets and asteroids become available, a reexamination of some of our conclusions may become necessary.

The distribution of asteroidal rotations is analyzed; it is found that the gross features of the distribution can be reproduced using the collisional model.


Particle Number Density Destruction Rate Asteroid Belt Creation Rate Minor Planet 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Dohnanyi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für KernphysikHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Bell LaboratoriesHolmdelUSA

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