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Cosmic Dust Bunnies: Scientists find the ring around the dust

sprayer ring for living5
In this picture several rings of dust circulate around the sun. These rings arise when the gravity of the planet draws grain dust into the orbit around the sun. Recently, scientists have discovered a dust ring at Merkuro's orbit. NASA's Space Flight Center Goddard / Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

Dust appears everywhere – on book shelves, under the couch, and now, apparently, in rings around the Mercury. Astronomers have made a surprising discovery, finding the ring of cosmic dust on an unexpected place in our solar system.

Solar scientists Guillermo Stenborg and Russell Howard from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington did not look for dust. Exactly the opposite – they sought a dust-free area near the Sun to prepare for the research carried out by the Parker Solar Probe. Scientists believe that there should be a region near the Sun, where the heat of the stars evaporated every dust, and finding the edge of this region could tell us more about what the cosmic dust was and how the planets shaped the young solar system.

Instead, Stenborg and Howard came into the "glimpse of the cosmic dust muddle" that roared through the Mercury Orbit, which forms a ring of 9.3 million miles. Mercury is only 3030 miles wide, so it floats through the huge dust of dust as it moves around the Sun.

"We're not really dust," Howard said in a statement. His team was trying to remove the effects of dust from the image so that the Parker Solar Probe can see the Sun more clearly. "Dust near the Sun only appears in our observations and we generally rejected it." But this time they realized that the dust they tried to clean was far louder and more frequent than they expected.

Scientists did not think that there might be a dust ring around Merkur so no one had thought of looking for him before. "People thought that Mercury, unlike Earth or Venus, was too small and too close to the Sun to capture the dust ring," Stenborg said. "They expected solar wind and solar power to blow up excess dust on Mercury's orbit."

Now, Howard and Stenborg will be challenged by investigating the Mercury dust ring to "dust people" and focus on searching for a dust free zone, while Parker Solar Probe explores the Sun's crown.

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