Plasma Waves in the Shock Interaction Regions at Comet Giacobini-Zinner

  1. Thomas J. Birmingham and
  2. Alexander J. Dessler
  1. C.F. Kennel1,
  2. F.V. Coroniti1,
  3. F.L. Scarf1,
  4. B.T. Tsurutani2,
  5. E.J. Smith Jr.2,
  6. S.J. Bame3 and
  7. J.T. Gosling3

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP027p0098

Comet Encounters

Comet Encounters

How to Cite

Kennel, C.F., Coroniti, F.V., Scarf, F.L., Tsurutani, B.T., Smith, E.J., Bame, S.J. and Gosling, J.T. (1988) Plasma Waves in the Shock Interaction Regions at Comet Giacobini-Zinner, in Comet Encounters (eds T. J. Birmingham and A. J. Dessler), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/SP027p0098

Author Information

  1. 1

    Trw Space and Technology Group, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

  2. 2

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109

  3. 3

    Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 97545

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902395

Online ISBN: 9781118668757



  • Bow wave;
  • Comet Giacobini-Zinner;
  • Electron density;
  • International Cometary Explorer (ICE);
  • Plasma waves;
  • Shock interaction


Basic uncertainties about the nature of the comet-solar wind interaction have existed for decades, and even gross features of the interaction phenomena were poorly understood on theoretical grounds alone. The first discussions of measurements from the encounter of ICE (International Cometary Explorer) with Comet Giacobini-Zinner did not provide immediate clarification of these issues. Here we analyze the nature of the interaction by examining the detailed evolution of the plasma wave spectra across the interaction region. It is shown that the cometary spectra are very similar to those detected at certain classes of interplanetary shocks and terrestrial bow shocks.