Permanent and Nonstationary Plasma Phenomena in Comet Halley's Head

  1. Alan Johnstone
  1. K. I. Gringauz and
  2. M. I. Verigin

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM061p0107

Cometary Plasma Processes

Cometary Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Gringauz, K. I. and Verigin, M. I. (1991) Permanent and Nonstationary Plasma Phenomena in Comet Halley's Head, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0107

Author Information

  1. Space Research Institute, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117810 Moscow GSP-7, USSR

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900278

Online ISBN: 9781118663660



  • Comets;
  • Space plasmas;
  • Astrophysics


The characteristics of various plasma phenomena observed near comet Halley in 1986 are studied to determine whether or not they are permanent features of the comet. Taking as the criteria for permanence that they should be observed by all spacecraft or be physically explicable, the permanent features include the near-cometary bow shock, the cometosheath, with its unique energy distribution of ions, the systematic cooling of electrons in this region, the cometopause, and the tangential discontinuity near the cometary nucleus. Among nonstationary events observed there are the unusual burst of ions with energies 100–1000 eV recorded in a direction from the Sun in the region of cometary ions at r ∼ (1–2)×104 km, the magnetic field pile-up boundary (in the region of the cometopause), the mystery region, and the precipitation of energetic electrons with ∼1 keV at r ∼ (1.5–2.5)×103 km.