A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud - download pdf or read online

By Brian May

The Zodiacal gentle, that misty diffuse cone of sunshine obvious within the West after sundown and the East prior to dawn, is a gorgeous and exciting phenomenon. even supposing everybody can benefit from the sight from a certainly darkish position, it really is poorly understood, and has been the topic of really little learn. Brian may well started his study into the topic in 1970, and used to be ultimately provided his PhD in 2007, after a hiatus of greater than 30 years pursuing his different profession as guitarist together with his rock band Queen. This publication is Brian’s thesis, and as such offers the result of his study for astronomers.

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The reason for the slow progress in early ZL research is immediately apparent, since any model constructed to fit a comparatively small range of possible experimental measurements is required to yield values of an enormous number of interconnected physical variables. Simple models of the Zodiacal Cloud are based on number density as a function of position in the Solar System and particle radius. Some early observers attempted to attribute the existence of the ZL to scattering of light in the Earth’s atmosphere, or (as favoured by Jones in 1865) from a dust cloud centred on the Earth; but even in 1683 Cassini had suggested that its appearance might be due to sunlight scattered by a lens-shaped (lenticular) circumsolar cloud of dust concentrated in the plane of the planets, the Earth being situated some way out towards the edge of the ‘lens’.

We can eliminate the € circular orbits: cell’s velocity as follows. We know that for € € € Vc 2 R , = VE 2 r € where r is the distance of the dust cell from the Sun, and R is the distance of the Earth from the Sun. In the Earth-Sun-Cell triangle the Sine Law gives: € R r , = sinε sinθ € hence € or R sinθ = r sinε € sinθ Vc € = sinε VE And the required relative radial velocity ∆V is given by € ∆V = VE € sinθ € sinθ − VE sinε . 5 Illustrating a line-of-sight integration for prediction of a Doppler-shifted absorption line spectrum from a rotating dust cloud model.

5 Å, and about 50 scans were obtained of morning and evening ZL. The most immediate result was the confirmation of H β emission, which still obscured the absorption line. The emission was stronger in the morning than in the evening, and apparently had a maximum intensity at 70 degrees elongation from the Sun in the ZL. So strong was the emission that it was difficult for these observers to draw any € conclusions about the obscured absorption line shape. In November and December 1967, Reay and Ring repeated their observations from a site at Testa Grigia in the Italian Alps, looking at regions of the sky clear of the ecliptic, in both morning and evening, with an improved instrument.

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