Ice plasma wave measurements in the ion pick-up region of comet Halley
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
Copyright 1986 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 13, Issue 8, pages 857–860, August 1986
How to Cite
(1986), Ice plasma wave measurements in the ion pick-up region of comet Halley. Geophysical Research Letters, 13: 857–860. doi: 10.1029/GL013i008p00857
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 JUN 1986
- Manuscript Received: 6 JUN 1986
In late March 1986 the plasma wave instrument on the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) detected sporadic bursts of strong plasma turbulence with average wave characteristics very similar to those detected six months earlier, during the ICE traversal of the Comet Giacobini-Zinner (G-Z) heavy ion pick-up region. In both cases the observations of enhanced wave levels were generally correlated with simultaneous detection of energetic ions. We interpret the 1986 activity in terms of plasma instabilities associated with solar wind pick-up of ions produced by heavy neutrals from Comet Halley. On March 25, when the distance between Comet Halley and ICE was 28.1 million kilometers, the ICE-to-comet range was about six times greater than the distance that marked the measured outer boundary of the turbulent heavy ion pick-up region for G-Z. Based on comparison with G-Z data and with earlier Halley observations, plausible arguments suggest that in late March, Halley should have produced detectable levels of energetic ions and associated plasma turbulence in a region with a spatial extent of 30-40 million kilometers.