A Parametric Study of the Solar Wind Interaction with Comets
- Alan Johnstone
Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Cometary Plasma Processes
How to Cite
Russell, C. T., Le, G., Luhmann, J. G. and Fedder, J. A. (1991) A Parametric Study of the Solar Wind Interaction with Comets, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0065
- Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1991
Print ISBN: 9780875900278
Online ISBN: 9781118663660
- Space plasmas;
The Naval Research Laboratory's magnetohydrodynamic simulation code is used to simulate the solar wind interaction with comet Halley for two different outgassing rates and several different solar wind states. The magnetic field is more strongly draped for fast solar wind conditions than slow. For higher mass loading rates, the tail becomes wider and contains more magnetic flux. The visual appearance of the comet differs for the case in which the interplanetary magnetic field lies in the plane of the sky from the case when it lies along the line of sight. The ion tail appears shorter in the latter case. Thus variation in the IMF direction can cause significant changes in the appearance of comets. The comet also creates a large momentum flux deficit in the solar wind with a narrow enhanced region within it corresponding to the ion tail.