The Size-Frequency Distribution of the Zodiacal Cloud: Evidence from the Solar System Dust Bands
Published 2000-05-12Version 1
Recent observations of the size-frequency distribution of zodiacal cloud particles obtained from the cratering record on the LDEF satellite (Love and Brownlee 1993) reveal a significant large particle population (100 micron diameter or greater) near 1 AU. Our previous modeling of the Solar System dust bands (Grogan et al 1997), features of the zodiacal cloud associated with the comminution of Hirayama family asteroids, has been limited by the fact that only small particles (25 micron diameter or smaller) have been considered. This was due to the prohibitively large amount of computing power required to numerically analyze the dynamics of larger particles. The recent availability of cheap, fast processors has finally made this work possible. Models of the dust bands are created, built from individual dust particle orbits, taking into account a size-frequency distribution of the material and the dynamical history of the constituent particles. These models are able to match both the shapes and amplitudes of the dust band structures observed by IRAS in multiple wavebands. The size-frequency index, q, that best matches the observations is approximately 1.4, consistent with the LDEF results in that large particles are shown to dominate. However, in order to successfully model the `ten degree' band, which is usually associated with collisional activity within the Eos family, we find that the mean proper inclination of the dust particle orbits has to be approximately 9.35 degrees, significantly different to the mean proper inclination of the Eos family (10.08 degrees).