In the far Eastern Federal University have developed a new method for probing comets and interplanetary dust

© Fotolia / VadimsadovskiКомета. Archival photoIn the far Eastern Federal University have developed a new method for probing comets and interplanetary dust© Fotolia / Vadimsadovski

The scientists of far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in collaboration with foreign colleagues developed a new method for remote sensing of comets and interplanetary dust, according to the University.

«The approach is based on the property of physical bodies to partially polarize the reflected sunlight. This effect allows to obtain information about the size, structure and composition of the objects for space remote sensing of comets and clouds of interplanetary dust», — stated in the message.

The new method is based on the works of the classic Russian physicists Nikolay Umov, who in the early twentieth century described the relationship between the reflectivity of the object and the degree of polarization of reflected light.

«In our latest study we have seen that the law of Umov is the same as at the larger objects like the moon and a single micron-sized particles — cosmic or atmospheric dust. This effect allows a very accurate assessment of the concentration of dust particles, whether in the earth’s atmosphere or in outer space,» — said a leading researcher in the School of natural Sciences FEFU Eugene Zubkov said.

He noted that the new approach extends the study of comets, clouds of interplanetary dust and atmospheric aerosols. The researchers plan to conduct polarimetric observations of the Earth’s atmosphere and analyze data using the Umov’s law.

The results are presented in international journals Optics Letters and Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer.

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