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Interplanetary dust ring discovered near Venus
Researchers at the Open University and the University of Central Lancashire have confirmed the existence of a circumsolar dust ring which encircles the Sun and closely follows the orbit of Venus. The discovery is reported in the journal Science on 22nd November 2013, and makes use of observations from NASA's STEREO spacecraft.
Dust from asteroidal collisions and comet debris are repeatedly tugged by a planet's gravity to form a ring close to the orbit of that planet. Such a ring has been observed at the Earth's orbit, but was only hypothesised to exist at Venus.
Using data from the UK-led Heliospheric Imagers on the STEREO, the researchers searched for the faint Venus ring by combining images taken over 10 days intervals to create long-exposure pictures to analyse.
Dr Mark Jones (Open University), who led the project, said "
Dr Daniel Brown (UCLan) continues, "
Dr Danielle Bewsher (UCLan) added, "
Dr Jones concluded, "
- The Science article
- UCLan News article
- Lancashire Evening Post article
- The Guardian article
- Space.com article
- NBC News article
Header Image : Simulated Nanoparticle (Marco Pinna, Joe Smerdon), Solar disk with SDO (NASA UClan SDO archive), V838 Monocerotis (NASA/STScl), NGC7424 (Gemini Observatory), M74 (NASA Hubble Space Telescope) NASA,and ESA ; and solar plume courtesy of SOHO /EIT consortium
Author: DS Brown, Last Updated: 22 November 2013, 10:00