Indexed on: 01 Jan '94Published on: 01 Jan '94Published in: Earth, Moon, and Planets
The problem of the stability of the zodiacal cloud is scrutinized. The central idea of the paper sticks in the theoretical treatment of the action of the solar electromagnetic radiation on small interplanetary dust particles (IDPs). It is suggested that the virtual problem of the (in-)stability of the zodiacal cloud originated from the physically incorrect application of the Poynting-Robertson effect on IDPs. Real particles are not of spherical shape and so the braking acceleration is not proportional to -v/c. Depending on the shape (and other optical properties) of the particle, also spiralling outward from the Sun may occur.