The Zodiacal Cloud, the debris disk of our own solar system, is still the subject of much debate as to the source of its particles, i.e., what are the relative contributions of asteroidal and cometary material to the cloud. The Zodiacal Cloud consists of a broad, low-frequency background, with superimposed high-frequency dust bands, which are the key to deciphering the relative contributions, since they are known to be asteroidal and associated with specific, young, asteroid families, such as Veritas and Karin. The dust bands only exist outside 2AU due to the secular resonance at 2AU dispersing the fine structure of the dust bands into the background cloud. Thus, the bands represent only the tip-of-the-iceberg of the total asteroidal contribution to the cloud, the extent of which can be found by investigating the dynamical and collisional evolution of the asteroidal family dust particles. Through this evolution of particles, we can model the observed line-of-sight dust band flux profiles, which are scans of ecliptic latitude. The models are based on the dynamics, and compared to filtered observations to constrain the models. The effects of collisions, size-frequency distribution, distribution of cross sectional area with semi-major axis, and the total area are the parameters that are varied and constrained. There is a wealth of archival data, including IRAS, COBE, and MSX, as well as the upcoming Spitzer data, which both overlap and extend over a wide range of ecliptic longitudes, wavebands, and solar elongations. We will use the parameters constrained by the observational data, to extend the model to the background cloud, yielding a global model of the asteroidal contribution to the cloud. We present current models and parameters, as well as a preliminary determination of the asteroidal contribution to the Zodiacal cloud.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #38
- Pub Date:
- September 2006