Physical characteristics of cometary dust from dynamical studies - A reviewProgress made in the determination of the physical characteristics of cometary dust particles from studies of dust tail dynamics is reviewed. Applications of the combined dynamical photometric approach of Finson and Probstein (1968) to studies of cometary tails exhibiting continuous light intensity variations are discussed, with attention given to determinations of the particle-size-related distribution function of the solar radiation pressure exerted on the particles, the contribution of comets to the interplanetary dust, calculations of dust ejection rates and a Monte Carlo approach to the analysis of dust tails. Investigations of dust streamers and striae, which are believed to be related to comet outbursts entailing brief but sharp enhancements of dust production, are then reviewed, with particular attention given to observations of Comet West 1976 VI. Finally, the question of cometary particle type is addressed, and it is pointed out that the presence of submicron absorbing particles in the striae of Comet West is not incompatible with the presence of micron-size dielectric particles in the inner coma.
Sekanina, Z. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, Mass., United States)
August 11, 2013
January 1, 1980
Meeting: Symposium on Solid particles in the solar system