The dust coma of comets
Analytical expressions for the dust entrainment in the limits of low and high gas production from cometary nuclei are derived. The resulting volume density is used to evaluate the dust production of Comets Encke and Kohoutek from IR-measurements. It is predicted, that the dust in solar direction was diffuse for Comet Kohoutek during approach to the Sun, but sharp for Comet Encke and nearly independent of heliocentric distance. The dust production rate of Encke ist not sufficient to sustain the Zodiacal Cloud of micron sized particles. Particle impact probabilities and hazards are estimated for a space probe in a fly-by mission to Encke.
KeywordsHeliocentric Distance Cometary Nucleus Ejection Velocity Dust Production Free Molecular Flow
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