|The movies show the interstellar dust density in the
vicinity of the sun. The coordinate system is centered on
the sun (the cross) with the y-axis antipalellel to the
sun's motion vector (y is positive in the downstream
direction). The y-z-plane contains the downstream-vector
and the rotation axis of the sun. The x-axis is
perpendicular to the y-z-plane.
The color-scale on the right shows the color coding for density enhancement. A yellow region in the plot corresponds to an enhancement factor of 3 compared to the density in the interstellar medium. The sample picture on the left shows a population of 50 nm - grains, that are unable to penetrate the solar wind cavity in 1991 (extending to ~100 AU). The time of the snapshot is noted at the lower left of the figures.
The calculations shown in the movies are for classic size interstellar dust of mass 10-17 kg. The radiation pressure has been set to outweigth gravitational attraction by 20% for these grains and their charge was assumed to correspond to a +5 Volt potential. Gravity and radiation pressure play almost negligible roles in these simulations whereas the Lorentz comoponent of the dust charge coupling to the solar wind magnetic field dominates. While radiation pressure and gravity are constant - the solar wind interaction depends on the solar cycle. The movies cover approximately one 22 year solar cycle.
The following projections (or more accurately cuts through the cloud) are available: x-y-plane, x-z-plane, y-z-planeReturn