Mapping the circumsolar dust ring near the orbit of Venus

Jones, M.H.; Bewsher, D. and Brown, D. S. (2017). Mapping the circumsolar dust ring near the orbit of Venus. Icarus, 288 pp. 172–185.



Synoptic images obtained from the HI-2 instrument on STEREO-A and -B between 2007 and 2014 have been used to further investigate the circumsolar dust ring at the orbit of Venus that was reported by Jones, Bewsher, Brown (2013). The analysis is based on high signal-to-noise ratio photometry of the zodiacal light, using data acquired over 10-day intervals, followed by a process of extracting spatial variability on scales up to about 6.5 degrees. The resulting images provide information about the structure of the ring at the location where it is viewed tangentially. We identify 65 usable data sets that comprise about 11 percent of the available HI-2 data. Analysis of these images show that the orientation of the ring appears to be different to that of the orbit of Venus, with an inclination of 2.1 degrees and longitude of ascending node of 68.5 degrees. We map the variation of ring density parameters in a frame of reference that is co-rotating with Venus and find a pattern suggestive of dust in a 3 : 2 orbital resonance. However, the location of the maxima of dust densities is not as expected from theoretical models, and there is some evidence that the dust density distribution in the ring has a pattern speed that differs from the mean motion of Venus.

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