The Spectrum and Energy Density of Solar Wind Turbulence of Cometary Origin

  1. Alan Johnstone
  1. A. D. Johnstone,
  2. D. E. Huddleston and
  3. A. J. Coates

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM061p0259

Cometary Plasma Processes

Cometary Plasma Processes

How to Cite

Johnstone, A. D., Huddleston, D. E. and Coates, A. J. (1991) The Spectrum and Energy Density of Solar Wind Turbulence of Cometary Origin, in Cometary Plasma Processes (ed A. Johnstone), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM061p0259

Author Information

  1. University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT

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 spectrum and energy density of solar wind turbulence of cometary origin can be related directly to the development of a bispherical shell distribution from the initial ring distribution of newly created ions. Although quasilinear theory has been very successful in obtaining such relationships we show how the power-law spectrum with an exponent of approximately minus 2 can be derived more simply from energy conservation and the resonant wave interaction characteristics. Observations of both the spectrum and the wave energy density agree well with these theoretical relationships. However the mechanisms by which the wave energy is dissipated are significant and have yet be evaluated.