Mirror Mode Waves at Comet Halley

  1. Alan Johnstone
  1. C. T. Russell1,
  2. Guan Le1,
  3. K. Schwingenschuh2,
  4. W. Riedler2 and
  5. Ye. Yeroshenko3

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM061p0161

Cometary Plasma Processes

Cometary Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Russell, C. T., Le, G., Schwingenschuh, K., Riedler, W. and Yeroshenko, Ye. (1991) Mirror Mode Waves at Comet Halley, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0161

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1567

  2. 2

    Space Research Institute, GRAZ, Austria

  3. 3

    IZMIRAN, Moscow Region, 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


High resolution VEGA magnetic field and plasma data in Halley's magnetosphere reveal out-of-phase oscillations of the type expected to be driven by the mirror mode instability. The spacecraft passes through these structures in about 20 s. The magnetic energy density drops about 6.5×159 ergs/cm3 in a typical event. The thickness of these regions is about a water-group ion gyro diameter. While such enhancements should be invisible against the comet when viewed perpendicular to the wavefronts, they could be visible as rays when viewed tangential to the wavefronts.