Reconciling the dawn-dusk asymmetry in Mercury's exosphere with the micrometeoroid impact directionality

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Petr Pokorný, Menelaos Sarantos, Diego Janches
(Submitted on 5 Jun 2017)

Combining dynamical models of dust from Jupiter Family Comets and Halley-type Comets, we demonstrate that the seasonal variation of the dust/meteoroid environment at Mercury is responsible for producing the dawn-dusk asymmetry in Mercury's exosphere observed by the MESSENGER spacecraft. Our latest models, calibrated recently from ground-based and space-borne measurements, provide unprecedented statistics that enable us to study the longitudinal and latitudinal distribution of meteoroids impacting Mercury's surface. We predict that the micrometeoroid impact vaporization source is expected to undergo significant motion on Mercury's surface towards the nightside during Mercury's approach to aphelion and towards the dayside when the planet is approaching the Sun.

Comments:    11 pages, 5 figures, accepted to ApJL
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1706.01461 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1706.01461v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Petr Pokorny
[v1] Mon, 5 Jun 2017 18:00:00 GMT (2326kb)

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