Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to interplanetary dust: Interstellar dust
interplanetary dust(in-ter-plan -ĕ-tair-ee) The huge doughnut-shaped cloud of dust particles that orbit the Sun and have been produced mainly by the decay of the major comets such as Halley, Encke, Mellish, and Swift–Tuttle. The mass influx to this cloud is typically 200 kg per second. Dust particles in the cloud are continually colliding with each other, and the small debris from these collisions is then influenced by the Poynting–Robertson effect and starts to spiral into the Sun. Particles with radii less than about 10–6 m can be blown out of the Solar System because the force exerted on them by radiation pressure exceeds the gravitational attraction of the Sun. It is thought that in general this dust cloud is in equilibrium. See also zodiacal dust cloud.
interplanetary dust[¦in·tər′plan·ə‚ter·ē ′dəst]
Dust particles between the planets.