Dust From Mars May Be The Source Of The Zodiacal Light

The dust of space has been concentrated from Mars in a way consistent with it. This may encourage theories of the origin of the phenomenon known as zodiac light.

Although the evidence comes from a space probe, it is not an investigation sent to the Red Planet. Instead, the phenomenon revealed through an unexpected application of the solar panels of the Juno spacecraft. Under the right conditions, just after sunset or just before dawn, a faint, almost triangular aura seen in the sky known as the light of the zodiac. Light a product of dust reflected in the sun’s rays. We see this only in part of the sky because the dust is concentrated in the bands near the plane where the planets orbit the sun. 

There are some, like other stars, and astronomers have debated the origin of the dust, the most popular explanation being that it represents debris from comet and asteroid collisions. Although it generates intuitive knowledge, attempts to model the size and density of dust clouds in the zodiac have not been entirely successful. Now, Professor John Leif Jørgensen of the Technical University of Denmark has come up with a much-unexpected explanation. Jørgensen thinks the dust is coming from Mars, but he has not seen any Mars escape from the gravitational field, nor can he explain how he can achieve speeds per second (3 miles per 5 seconds).

Jørgensen’s case based on the distribution of dust through the inner solar system, Jørgensen did not go out to study the dust of the zodiac – he was just trying to keep Jupiter’s mission safe from Juno. To confirm its location, Juno has a camera that takes pictures every quarter second, allowing computers to examine the right stars on each camera. Jørgensen hoped that some acids would also found, with a camera programmed to learn something out of the ordinary. Instead of the occasional rare asteroid, the camera detects thousands of brief glimpses.

“We thought, ‘There’s really something wrong.’ The images make it look as if someone is shaking their window with a dusty tablecloth, “Jørgensen said in a statement.  Instead, it found that dust was hitting Juno’s large solar panel array. Compared to a spacecraft of 1 hour, 16,000 kilometers an hour (10,000 miles), even tiny particles can explode chips from the back of the panel, as seen by Jørgensen’s camera. The previous spacecraft carried dust detectors, but these dwarfed by the large solar arrays of Juno.

Camera records serve Juno’s regulators to measure how much dust the probe has passed each day. Measure Juno’s looping path to Jupiter needed gravitational assistance, providing some additional details. Mars, on the other hand, does not seem to be performing the same kind of broom function. Instead, dust created far away from the sun where the red planet and its moons are the only apparent source, but no explanation has yet found for how anyone could have escaped, so far.