Three years of Ulysses dust data: 1993-1995

H. Krüger, E. Grün, M. Landgraf, M. Baguhl, 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. SramaH. A. Zook

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The Ulysses spacecraft is orbiting the Sun on a highly inclined ellipse (i = 79°). After its Jupiter flyby in 1992 at a heliocentric distance of 5.4 AU, the spacecraftreapproached the inner solar system, flew over the Suns south polar region in September 1994,crossed the ecliptic plane at a distance of 1.3 AU in March 1995, and flew over the Suns northpolar region in July 1995. We report on dust impact data obtained with the dust detector onboardUlysses between January 1993 and December 1995. We publish and analyse the complete dataset of 509 recorded impacts of dust particles with masses between 10-16 g-10-7 g. Together with 968 dust impacts from launch until the end of 1992 published earlier ([Gruuml;n et al., 1995c]), information about 1477 particles detected with theUlysses sensor between October 1990 and December 1995 is now available. The impact ratemeasured between 1993 and 1995 stayed relatively constant at about 0.4 impacts per day andvaried by less than a factor of ten. Most of the impacts recorded outside about 3.5 AU arecompatible with particles of interstellar origin. Two populations of interplanetary particles havebeen recognized: big micrometer-sized particles close to the ecliptic plane and smallsub-micrometer-sized particles at high ecliptic latitudes. The observed impact rate is comparedwith a model for the flux of interstellar dust particles which gives relatively good agreement withthe observed impact rate. No change in the instruments noise characteristics or degradation of thechanneltron could be revealed during the three-year period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-383
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


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