The scientists calculate that such a planetary body would cross the inner solar system every 25 million years on the average and during each transit, zodiacal dust
, including a component of the solar system's living cells, becomes implanted at its surface.
The new theory is inspired by our own Solar System, where the so-called zodiacal dust
is known to originate from collisions between solid bodies such as asteroids and comets.
More than 30 years after he started his research, in 2007 he finally completed his PhD in astrophysics, entitled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust
Yesterday his thesis Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust
Cloud was ready to hand in at Imperial College, London.
And now he has handed the catchily titled 48,000-word tome, Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust
Cloud, to tutors at his old university, Imperial College London.
The 48,000-word tome, Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust
Cloud, was stored in the loft of his home in Surrey.
No more than 10% of the zodiacal dust
can be from the asteroid belt.
1 Which well-known rock guitarist with an entirely serious interest in astronomy has just handed in his PhD thesis, on Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust
"We find that the dust of asteroids is not stirred up enough over its lifetime to make the zodiacal dust
cloud as thick as observed.
Luckily for would-be planet imagers, Spitzer observations show that extremely bright zodiacal dust
disks aren't commonly found around old Sun-like stars.
But since they observed at a longer wavelength, where zodiacal dust
adds noise to the data, their temperature estimate of 1,130[degrees]K (1,580[degrees]F) is less precise.
Hinz will find out how much zodiacal dust
surrounds 80 nearby stars.