Title

Electrostatic dust transport on Eros: 3-D simulations of pond formation

Authors

Authors

A. L. H. Hughes; J. E. Colwell;A. W. DeWolfe

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Icarus

Keywords

asteroids, surfaces; regoliths; asteroid Eros; ASTEROID 433-EROS; TOPOGRAPHY; POTENTIALS; SPACECRAFT; DEPOSITS; REGOLITH; HAYABUSA; CRATERS; ITOKAWA; SHAPE; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Abstract

NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft images of the surface of the near-Earth Asteroid 433 Eros reveal that more than 200 craters on Eros are partially filled with smooth deposits, termed ponds [Veverka, J., and 32 colleagues, 2001a. Science 292, 484-488]. These ponds appear smooth even at a high resolution of 1.2 cm/pixel and spectral analysis suggests that they may be made up of particles <<50 pm in size [Robinson, M.S., Thomas, P.C., Veverka, J., Murchie, S., Carcish, B., 2001. Nature 413, 396-400; Riner, M.A., Eckart, J.M., Gigilio, J.G., Robinson, M.S., 2006. Lunar Planet. Sci. XXXVII. Abstract 2291]. Coupled with the concentration of ponds at low latitudes, the possible small particle size suggests that these deposits might be related to electrostatic transport of dust near the local terminator [Robinson, M.S., Thomas, P.C., Veverka, J., Murchie, S., Carcish, B., 2001. Nature 413, 396-400]. The work presented here incorporates the precise lighting geometry within a crater at a specified latitude into two models for electrostatic transport of dust grains in order to explore dust deposition and pond formation via this mechanism, particularly as a function of latitude. We find that micrometer-sized dust particles are preferentially transported into craters at latitudes where solar illumination angles are often low. In addition we find that if particles are electrostatically lifted off the surface they are preferentially transported into topographic depressions independent of whether the particles undergo stable levitation. The primary limiting factor for our model is uncertainty concerning the dust launching mechanism. Despite that, and though it does not match the observed north-south asymmetry in pond distribution, our model demonstrates potential for good general agreement between future predictions of pond formation via electrostatic transport of dust and observations of pond locations on the surface of Eros. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Journal Title

Icarus

Volume

195

Issue/Number

2

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

630

Last Page

648

WOS Identifier

WOS:000256128500010

ISSN

0019-1035

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