Theory and Simulation of Cometary Shocks
- Alan Johnstone
Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Cometary Plasma Processes
How to Cite
Omidi, N. and Winske, D. (1991) Theory and Simulation of Cometary Shocks, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0037
- Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1991
Print ISBN: 9780875900278
Online ISBN: 9781118663660
- Space plasmas;
In this paper recent kinetic simulation studies of cometary bow shocks are reviewed. Cometary shocks are formed due to solar wind mass loading by water group cometary ions. This process is kinetic in nature and varies as a function of the angle between the solar wind flow velocity and the interplanetary magnetic field, as do the properties of cometary shocks. For perpendicular and parallel orientations, quasi-steady shocks with dissipation scales on the order of proton inertial length form. At oblique orientations, no steady shocks are formed; instead, the transition from supersonic to subsonic flow takes place through multiple shocklets (steepened magnetosonic waves) which are generated by the pickup ions via the resonant electromagnetic ion beam instability. This new, time dependent model of cometary bow shocks is further investigated using a large scale kinetic simulation and is compared to the observations at Comet Giacobini-Zinner.