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Streaming of interstellar grains in the solar systemResults of a theoretical study of the interactions between interstellar grains streaming through the solar system and the solar wind are presented. It is shown that although elongated core-mantle interstellar particles of a characteristic radius of about 0.12 microns are subject to a greater force due to radiation pressure than to gravitational attraction, they are still able to penetrate deep inside the solar system. Calculations of particle trajectories within the solar system indicate substantial effects of the solar activity cycle as reflected in the interplanetary magnetic field on the distribution of 0.12- and 0.0005-micron interstellar grains streaming through the solar system, leading to a 50-fold increase in interstellar grain densities 3 to 4 AU ahead of the sun during years 8 to 17 of the solar cycle. It is noted that during the Solar Polar Mission, concentrations are expected which will offer the opportunity of detecting interstellar grains in the solar system.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Gustafson, B. A. S.
(New York, State University Albany, N.Y.; Royal University Observatory, Lund, Sweden)
Misconi, N. Y.
(New York, State University Albany, N.Y., United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
November 15, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 282
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

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