Ions in the Coma and in the Tail of Comets—Observations and Theory
- Alan Johnstone
Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Cometary Plasma Processes
How to Cite
Jockers, K. (1991) Ions in the Coma and in the Tail of Comets—Observations and Theory, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0139
- Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1991
Print ISBN: 9780875900278
Online ISBN: 9781118663660
- Space plasmas;
This paper summarizes our present knowledge about the behaviour of cometary plasma from the viewpoint of the ground-based observer. Starting with an overview about the dimensions and ion column densities of comet tails the tail velocities and accelerations are studied. The in-situ measurements of the cometary magnetic field are briefly mentioned as far as they concern the optical observations. The problem of ion origin in the cometary coma and the production of ions and its relation to the production of neutrals is discussed. The last section is concerned with comet tail activity, i.e. tail kinks and the associated Rayleigh-Taylor instability, tail rays and the so-called tail disconnection events.