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Linking studies of tiny meteoroids, zodiacal dust, cometary dust and circumstellar disks

Abstract : Tiny meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere and inducing meteor showers have long been thought to originate partly from cometary dust. Together with other dust particles, they form a huge cloud around the Sun, the zodiacal cloud. From our previous studies of the zodiacal light, as well as other independent methods (dynamical studies, infrared observations, data related to Earth's environment), it is now established that a significant fraction of dust particles entering the Earth's atmosphere comes from Jupiter-family comets (JFCs). This paper relies on our understanding of key properties of the zodiacal cloud and of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, extensively studied by the Rosetta mission to a JFC. The interpretation, through numerical and experimental simulations of zodiacal light local polarimetric phase curves, has recently allowed us to establish that interplanetary dust is rich in absorbing organics and consists of fluffy particles. The ground-truth provided by Rosetta presently establishes that the cometary dust particles are rich in organic compounds and consist of quite fluffy and irregular aggregates. Our aims are as follows: (1) To make links, back in time, between peculiar micrometeorites, tiny meteoroids, interplanetary dust particles, cometary dust particles, and the early evolution of the Solar System, and (2) to show how detailed studies of such meteoroids and of cometary dust particles can improve the interpretation of observations of dust in protoplanetary and debris disks. Future modeling of dust in such disks should favor irregular porous particles instead of more conventional compact spherical particles.
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Anny Chantal Levasseur-Regourd, C. Baruteau, Jérémie Lasue, J. Milli, Jean-Baptiste Renard. Linking studies of tiny meteoroids, zodiacal dust, cometary dust and circumstellar disks. Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier, 2020, 186 (July), pp.104896. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2020.104896⟩. ⟨insu-02499656⟩

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