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Interactions of Dust Grains with Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Cycle Variations of the F-Coronal BrightnessThe density of interplanetary dust increases sunward to reach its maximum in the F corona, where its scattered white-light emission dominates that of the electron K corona above about 3 Solar Radius. The dust will interact with both the particles and fields of antisunward propagating coronal mass ejections (CMEs). To understand the effects of the CME/dust interactions we consider the dominant forces, with and without CMEs. acting on the dust in the 3-5 Solar Radius region. Dust grain orbits are then computed to compare the drift rates from 5 to 3 Solar Radius. for periods of minimum and maximum solar activity, where a simple CME model is adopted to distinguish between the two periods. The ion-drag force, even in the quiet solar wind, reduces the drift time by a significant factor from its value estimated with the Poynting-Robertson drag force alone. The ion-drag effects of CMEs result in even shorter drift times of the large (greater than or approx. 3 microns) dust grains. hence faster depletion rates and lower dust-pain densities, at solar maxima. If dominated by thermal emission, the near-infrared brightness will thus display solar cycle variations close to the dust plane of symmetry. While trapping the smallest of the grains, the CME magnetic fields also scatter the grains of intermediate size (0.1-3 microns) in latitude. If light scattering by small grains close to the Sun dominates the optical brightness. the scattering by the CME magnetic fields will result in a solar cycle variation of the optical brightness distribution not exceeding 100% at high latitudes, with a higher isotropy reached at solar maxima. A good degree of latitudinal isotropy is already reached at low solar activity since the magnetic fields of the quiet solar wind so close to the Sun are able to scatter the small (less than or approx. 3 microns) grains up to the polar regions in only a few days or less, producing strong perturbations of their trajectories in less than half their orbital periods. Finally, we consider possible observable consequences of individual CME/dust interactions. We show that the dust grains very likely have no observable effect on the dynamics of CMEs. The effect of an individual CME on the dust grains, however, might serve as a forecasting tool for the directions and amplitudes of the magnetic fields within the CME.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Ragot, B. R. (Texas Univ. Austin, TX, United States)
Kahler, S. W. (Air Force Research Lab. Hanscom AFB, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
September 10, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 594
Issue: Pt 1
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits