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Configuration of the Martian dust rings: Shapes, densities and size-distributions from direct integrations of particle trajectories

By SpaceRef Editor
January 14, 2022
Filed under , ,

Xiaodong Liu, Jürgen Schmidt

It is expected since the early 1970s that tenuous dust rings are formed by grains ejected from the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos by impacts of hypervelocity interplanetary projectiles. In this paper, we perform direct numerical integrations of a large number of dust particles originating from Phobos and Deimos. In the numerical simulations, the most relevant forces acting on dust are included: Martian gravity with spherical harmonics up to 5th degree and 5th order, gravitational perturbations from the Sun, Phobos, and Deimos, solar radiation pressure, as well as the Poynting-Robertson drag. In order to obtain the ring configuration, simulation results of various grain sizes ranging from submicron to 100 microns are averaged over a specified initial mass distribution of ejecta. We find that for the Phobos ring grains smaller than about 2 microns are dominant; while the Deimos ring is dominated by dust in the size range of about 5-20 microns. The asymmetries, number densities and geometrical optical depths of the rings are quantified from simulations. The results are compared with the upper limits of the optical depth inferred from Hubble observations. We compare to previous work and discuss the uncertainties of the models.

Comments: 7 pages, 7 figures

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Journal reference: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021, 500(3): 2979-2985

DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa3084

Cite as: arXiv:2201.02847 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2201.02847v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Xiaodong Liu 

[v1] Sat, 8 Jan 2022 15:33:44 UTC (1,324 KB)

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