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Interaction between the solar corona and the interplanetary dust grains

Research project MO/35/015 (Research action MO)

Persons :

  • Prof. dr.  LEMAIRE Joseph - Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2004-31/12/2005

Description :

In addition to plasma which forms the solar wind, the interplanetary medium contains large quantities of solid grains ranging in mass from 10-6g to 1g and meteors reaching dimensions comparable to asteroids and comets. Observations of zodiac light, continuous observations of meteors falling into the Earth's atmosphere and in-situ observations using interplanetary probes such as Ulysses or Galileo confirm the presence in the heliosphere and the extent of this solid-state material. When they approach the sun, these grains and meteors undergo processes of sublimation, vaporisation, erosion or "sputtering". The atoms thus vaporised constitute a source heavy ions constantly modifying the composition of the solar wind and the solar corona. The purpose of this project is to study the interaction of these solid grains with the solar corona plasma, and their effect on its chemical composition and heating.

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