Science Seminars

The Zodiacal Dust Cloud Populations at Saturn: an inventory from the Cassini-CDA point of view

Speaker: Nicolas Altobelli (ESA)
Date: Thursday, Feb 07, 2013
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC N100 (note alternate room)

Seminar Abstract:

The analysis of different CDA subsystems data, acquired since SOI, reveals that the Saturnian system is permanently crossed by dust grains originating from the Interplanetary medium, as well as from the neighboring interstellar medium surrounding the Solar System. We observe two main types of particles: on the one hand, those with low injection velocity with respect to Saturn, whose flux is significantly enhanced by gravitation focusing. On the other hand, particles with fast injection velocities, essentially unperturbed by gravitation focusing. We discuss a comparison of our data with existing models for different dust populations. In the ‘slow dust’ category, we find that our data are compatible with the Kuiper Belt or TNOs/Centaurs as source of the detected dust grains. The main component of the ’fast population’ is identified as interstellar dust, with grains also possibly released by Oort Cloud type comets.