University of Oulu

Xiaodong Liu, Jürgen Schmidt, Configuration of the Martian dust rings: shapes, densities, and size distributions from direct integrations of particle trajectories, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 500, Issue 3, January 2021, Pages 2979–2985,

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

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Author: Liu, Xiaodong1,2; Schmidt, Jürgen2
Organizations: 1School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
2Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-19


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 the dust are included: Martian gravity with spherical harmonics up to fifth degree and fifth 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 submicrometres to 100 μm are averaged over a specified initial mass distribution of ejecta. We find that for the Phobos ring grains smaller than about 2 μm are dominant; while the Deimos ring is dominated by dust in the size range of about 5–20 μm. The asymmetries, number densities, and geometric 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.

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Series: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
ISSN: 0035-8711
ISSN-E: 1365-8711
ISSN-L: 0035-8711
Volume: 500
Issue: 3
Pages: 2979 - 2985
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa3084
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This work was supported by the European Space Agency under the project Jovian Meteoroid Environment Model at the University of Oulu and by the Academy of Finland.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.