Experimental Phase Functions of Millimeter-sized Cosmic Dust Grains

O. Muñoz1, F. Moreno1, F. Vargas-Martín2, D. Guirado1, J. Escobar-Cerezo1, M. Min3,4, and J. W. Hovenier4
Astrophysical Journal 846, 85 Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa7ff2]
1Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, E-18008 Granada, Spain
2Department of Electromagnetism and Electronics, University of Murcia, E-30100 Murcia, Spain
3SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sobornnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
4Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek,” University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We present the experimental phase functions of three types of millimeter-sized dust grains consisting of enstatite, quartz, and volcanic material from Mount Etna, respectively. The three grains present similar sizes but different absorbing properties. The measurements are performed at 527 nm covering the scattering angle range from 3° to 170°. The measured phase functions show two well-defined regions: (i) soft forward peaks and (ii) a continuous increase with the scattering angle at side- and back-scattering regions. This behavior at side- and back-scattering regions is in agreement with the observed phase functions of the Fomalhaut and HR 4796A dust rings. Further computations and measurements (including polarization) for millimeter-sized grains are needed to draw some conclusions about the fluffy or compact structure of the dust grains.

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