Four years of Ulysses dust data: 1996-1999

H. Krüger, E. Grün, M. Landgraf, S. Dermott, H. Fechtig, B. A. Gustafson, D. P. Hamilton, M. S. Hanner, M. Horányi, J. Kissel, Bertil Anders Lindblad, D. Linkert, G. Linkert, I. Mann, J. A. M. McDonnell, G. E. Morfill, C. Polanskey, G. Schwehm, R. Srama, H. A. Zook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The Ulysses spacecraft is orbiting the Sun on a highly inclined ellipse(/i=79°, perihelion distance 1.3 AU, aphelion distance 5.4 AU).Between January /1996 and December /1999 the spacecraft was beyond 3 AUfrom the Sun and crossed the ecliptic plane at aphelion in May /1998. Inthis 4-yr period 218 dust impacts were recorded with the dust detectoron board. We publish and analyse the complete data set of both raw andreduced data for particles with masses10<SUP>-16</SUP>-10<SUP>-8</SUP>g. Together with 1477 dust impactsrecorded between launch of Ulysses and the end of /1995 publishedearlier (Grün et al., Planet. Space Sci. 43 (/1995a) 971;Krüger et al., Planet. Space Sci. 47 (/1999b) 363), a data set of1695 dust impacts detected with the Ulysses sensor between October /1990and December /1999 is now available. The impact rate measured between1996 and 1999 was relatively constant with about 0.2 impacts per day.The impact direction of the majority of the impacts is compatible withparticles of interstellar origin, the rest are most likelyinterplanetary particles. The observed impact rate is compared with amodel for the flux of interstellar dust particles. The flux of particlesseveral micrometres in size is compared with the measurements of thedust instruments on board Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 beyond 3 AU (Humes,J. Geophys. Res. 85 /(1980) 5841). Between 3 and 5 AU, Pioneer resultspredict that Ulysses should have seen 5 times more (~10mum sized)particles than actually detected.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1303-1324
    JournalPlanetary and Space Science
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


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