Planets and Moons  Universe  ID: 4748

LISA Pathfinder vs Solar System Dust

LISA Pathfinder, a mission led by ESA (the European Space Agency) that included NASA contributions, successfully demonstrated technologies needed to build a future space-based gravitational wave observatory, a tool for detecting ripples in space-time produced by, among other things, merging black holes. A team of NASA scientists leveraged LISA Pathfinder's record-setting sensitivity to map microscopic dust shed by comets and asteroids.

These animations follow the trajectory of LISA Pathfinder from Earth to its working "halo" orbit around Sun-Earth L1, a gravitational balance point about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth in the sun's direction, and show the locations of 54 dust impacts detected during the mission.
 

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Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Data Visualizer
James Ira Thorpe (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Francis Reddy (University of Maryland College Park): Lead Writer
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Lead Producer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Science Paper:
Micrometeoroid Events in LISA Pathfinder

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4748

Data Used:
SPICE Ephemerides
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

Keywords:
SVS >> Asteroid
SVS >> Comet
SVS >> Dust
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Lagrange Points
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
NASA Science >> Universe
SVS >> LISA Pathfinder
SVS >> Micrometeoroids