Ion Dynamics and Distribution Around Comet Halley: Suisei Observation

  1. Thomas J. Birmingham and
  2. Alexander J. Dessler
  1. T. Mukai1,
  2. W. Miyake2,
  3. T. Terasawa1,
  4. M. Kitayama1 and
  5. K. Hirao3

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP027p0052

Comet Encounters

Comet Encounters

How to Cite

Mukai, T., Miyake, W., Terasawa, T., Kitayama, M. and Hirao, K. (1988) Ion Dynamics and Distribution Around Comet Halley: Suisei Observation, in Comet Encounters (eds T. J. Birmingham and A. J. Dessler), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/SP027p0052

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Meguro, Tokyo 153, Japan

  2. 2

    Radio Research Laboratories, Koganei, Tokyo 184, Japan

  3. 3

    Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tokai University, Hiratsuka 259–12, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1988

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902395

Online ISBN: 9781118668757



  • Cometocentric solar ecliptic (CSE) coordinate system;
  • Ion dynamics;
  • Plasma flow;
  • Protons;
  • Turbulent;
  • Water-group ions


Ion dynamics inside the cometosheath of Halley is described based on the plasma observation by Suisei. The pickup shells of water-group ions and protons of cometary origin are clearly identified. Field line draping around the comet is observed within 2×105 km of the Halley's nucleus, where magnetic field directions are derived from the symmetry axes of the ion-pickup shells. Flow turbulence is observed as short-term (period of ≲2 min) fluctuations of the anisotropy direction in the outer cometosheath (2–4.5×105 km from the nucleus), while the flow is found to be laminar near the closest approach (1.5–2×105 km from the nucleus). Spatial distribution of density of water-group ions (identified up to 4×106 km from the nucleus) is also presented.