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Interaction of relativistic dust grains with the solar radiation field

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date07/1993
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish


The effects of the solar radiation field on the propagation of relativistic dust grains are evaluated. It is concluded that relativistic iron grains with energies almost-equal-to 10(19) eV will melt in the solar radiation field before they reach the Earth's orbit around the Sun. However iron grains with lower energies will reach the Earth's orbit but grains travelling from the direction of the Sun will melt. This directional anisotropy or fingerprint may be used to search for relativistic dust grains in the primary cosmic rays. The tact that no significant solar system anisotropy has been detected places constraints on the hypothesis that the initiating particles of the extensive air showers are relativistic iron grains.