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Directly Measured Limit on the Interplanetary Matter Density from Pioneer 10 and 11

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      Abstract

      The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft had exceptional deep-space navigational capabilities. The accuracies of their orbit reconstruction were limited, however, by a small, anomalous, Doppler frequency drift that can be interpreted as an acceleration of (8.74 +/- 1.33) x 10^{-8} cm/s^2 directed toward the Sun. We investigate the possibility that this anomaly could be due to a drag on the spacecraft from their passing through the interplanetary medium. Although this mechanism is an appealing one, the existing Pioneer radiometric data would require an unexpectedly high mass density of interplanetary dust for this mechanism to work. Further, the magnitude of the density would have to be nearly constant at distances ~ 20-70 AU. Therefore, it appears that such an explanation is very unlikely, if not ruled out. Despite this, the measured frequency drift by itself places a directly-measured, model-independent limit of \lessim 3 x 10^{-19} g/cm^3 on the mass density of interplanetary dust in the outer(~20-70 AU) solar system. Lower experimental limits can be placed if one presumes a model that varies with distance. An example is the limit \lessim 6 x 10^{-20} g/cm^3 obtained for the model with an axially-symmetric density distribution that falls off as the inverse of the distance. We emphasize that the limits obtained are experimentally-measured, in situ limits. A mission to investigate the anomaly would be able to place a better limit on the density, or perhaps even to measure it.

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      The flux of interstellar dust observed by Ulysses and Galileo

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        WMAPing the Universe: Supersymmetry, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Proton Decay and Collider Physics

        In this review we discuss constraints on minimal supersymmetric models of particle physics implied by the recent astrophysical observations of WMAP. Although the prospects of detecting supersymmetry increase and 90 percent of the available MSSM parameter space can safely be reached by the sensitivity of future colliders, nevertheless we pay particular emphasis on discussing regions of the appropriate phase diagrams, which -if realized - would imply that detection of supersymmetry, at least in the context of minimal models, could be out of colliders reach. We also discuss the importance of a precise determination of the radiative corrections to the muon anomalous magnetic moment, both theoretically and experimentally. Finally, we briefly commend upon recent evidence, supported by observations, on a dark energy component of the Universe, of as yet unknown origin, covering 73 percent of its energy content.
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          PLANETARY SCIENCE Where Have All the Comets Gone

           M. Bailey (2002)
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            28 January 2005
            2005-04-18
            astro-ph/0501626
            10.1016/j.physletb.2005.03.035
            Custom metadata
            LA-UR-04-9081
            Phys.Lett. B613 (2005) 11-19
            16 pages, 2 figures, publication version
            astro-ph

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