Dust in and Around the Heliosphere and Astrospheres

Veerle J. Sterken, Lennart R. Baalmann, Bruce T. Draine, Egor Godenko, Konstantin Herbst, Hsiang Wen Hsu, Silvan Hunziker, Vladislav Izmodenov, Rosine Lallement, Jonathan D. Slavin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Interstellar dust particles were discovered in situ, in the solar system, with the Ulysses mission’s dust detector in 1992. Ever since, more interstellar dust particles have been measured inside the solar system by various missions, providing insight into not only the composition of such far-away visitors, but also in their dynamics and interaction with the heliosphere. The dynamics of interstellar (and interplanetary) dust in the solar/stellar systems depend on the dust properties and also on the space environment, in particular on the heliospheric/astrospheric plasma, and the embedded time-variable magnetic fields, via Lorentz forces. Also, solar radiation pressure filters out dust particles depending on their composition. Charge exchanges between the dust and the ambient plasma occur, and pick-up ions can be created. The role of the dust for the physics of the heliosphere and astrospheres is fairly unexplored, but an important and a rapidly growing topic of investigation. This review paper gives an overview of dust processes in heliospheric and astrospheric environments, with its resulting dynamics and consequences. It discusses theoretical modeling, and reviews in situ measurements and remote sensing of dust in and near our heliosphere and astrospheres, with the latter being a newly emerging field of science. Finally, it summarizes the open questions in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Astrosphere
  • Cosmic dust
  • Heliosphere
  • ISM
  • Interstellar dust
  • LIC


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