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Ion distribution functions in the vicinity of comet Giacobini-Zinner

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Abstract

Photoionization of neutral molecules in the coma surrounding a comet produces heavy ions which contaminate and mass-load the solar wind. Cometary ion distribution functions in the vicinity of comet Giacobini-Zinner (G/Z) are calculated using a Monte Carlo method. The distribution function calculated behind the shock has both cold (≈ 2 keV) and hot (≈ 40 keV) components.

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