Specialists from the US Navy Research Laboratory have discovered that Mercury has a dust ring and Venus has a group of its own asteroids.
The scientists explained that the ring of Mercury and the small asteroids of Venus are the remains of a cloud of gas dust, from which the solar system was formed.
To make this discovery, the experts used data from a pair of twin STEREO satellites, which are observing the sun. The scientists explained that for the study they developed a model that describes the movement of dust near the sun. He showed that a ring of dust with a density of about 5% higher than the neighboring regions had accumulated along the Mercury orbit.
The calculations seemed incredible to us. Mercury is close to the Sun, due to which, apparently, it cannot contain its dust ring. However, the ring is observed throughout the orbit. According to our estimates, the width of the ring is over 4,800 kilometers, far greater than the diameter of Mercury itself, – explained the authors of the study.
The second group of scientists under the guidance of Mark Kuchner and Peter Pokorny studied the Venus dust ring. It has been discovered that this ring is much larger than the Merkurian one: it reaches 25 million kilometers in height and 9 million kilometers in width and its density exceeds the surrounding areas by 10%.
Astronomers recalled that scientists talked about the Venusian ring in 2007, when they noticed the first signs.
It is assumed that the Venus cloud is made up of continuously colliding debris from the asteroid belt. But scientists believed that with the existence of such a cloud, the attraction of the Earth should have taken a stream of dust from the asteroid belt, not allowing it to reach the Venusian orbit.
Thus, the experts suggested a different origin of the Venusian powder.
During the study, scientists came to the conclusion that Venus' orbit has its own source of "local" dust and asteroids, which rotate around the Sun along with the planet.
Suppose these can be large fragments left by the time of the formation of Venus. The simulation showed that if there were at least 10,000 of these asteroids in its orbit 4.5 billion years ago, today there could be about 800, – the researchers concluded.