Modelling the IRAS solar system dust bands

S. F. Dermott, P. D. Nicholson, R. S. Gomes, R. Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The chief difficulties in interpreting the geometry of the IRAS solar system dust bands are (1) the geocentric viewpoint of the IRAS telescope and (2) the large range of elongation angles sampled by IRAS. To overcome these and other difficulties we have a constructed a three-dimensional numerical model that permits the calculation of the latitudinal distribution of the thermal flux that would be received at the Earth from any particular distribution of dust particle orbits. The model includes the effects of planetary perturbations on the dust particle orbits, reproduces the exact viewing geometry of the IRAS telescope, and allows for the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit. The result is a model for the variation with ecliptic latitude of the brightness observed in a given waveband as the line of sight of the telescope sweeps through the model dustband at a constant elongation angle. Models based on the Hirayama asteroid families are compared with the IRAS observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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