Background Sky Brightness Measurements for Application to Space Surveillance Systems
Final rept. 1 Oct 1979-30 Sep 1980
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK AT ALBANY SPACE ASTRONOMY LAB
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The scattering of sunlight by interplanetary dust gives rise to the zodiacal light, a ubiquitous feature of the night sky which is the limiting background for most infrared observations. This changing with wavelength, look direction, and distance form the sun background can be understood only in the larger context of the physics of interplanetary dust. We have observationally separated the zodiacal light from other astronomical sources, devised a mathematical inversion to extract the maximum amount of information about the dust from space observations, observationally proved that the dust complex is neither homogeneous nor simply distributed through the solar system, and predicted that the dust may tend to accumulate in enormous arcs which span the solar system. The inversion technique is the most promising method to extract from visual and near IR observations the parameters necessary to model the infrared emission of interplanetary grains. Near infrared radiation visible spectra.