Position and Structure of the Comet Halley Bow Schock: Vega-1 and Vega-2 Measurements

  1. Thomas J. Birmingham and
  2. Alexander J. Dessler
  1. A.A. Galeev1,
  2. B.E. Gribov1,
  3. T. Gombosi2,
  4. K.I. Gringauz1,
  5. S.I. Klimov1,
  6. P. Oberz4,
  7. A.P. Remizov1,
  8. W. Riedler5,
  9. R.Z. Sagdeev1,
  10. S.P. Savin1,
  11. A.Yu. Sokolov1,
  12. V.D. Shapiro1,
  13. V.I. Shevchenco1,
  14. K. Szego2,
  15. M.I. Verigin1 and
  16. Ye.G. Yeroshenko3

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP027p0157

Comet Encounters

Comet Encounters

How to Cite

Galeev, A.A., Gribov, B.E., Gombosi, T., Gringauz, K.I., Klimov, S.I., Oberz, P., Remizov, A.P., Riedler, W., Sagdeev, R.Z., Savin, S.P., Sokolov, A.Yu., Shapiro, V.D., Shevchenco, V.I., Szego, K., Verigin, M.I. and Yeroshenko, Ye.G. (1988) Position and Structure of the Comet Halley Bow Schock: Vega-1 and Vega-2 Measurements, in Comet Encounters (eds T. J. Birmingham and A. J. Dessler), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/SP027p0157

Author Information

  1. 1

    Space Research Institute, Moscow, USSR

  2. 2

    Central Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary

  3. 3

    Izmiran, Troitsk, USSR

  4. 4

    Center for Space Research, Warsaw, Poland

  5. 5

    Space Research Institute, Graz, Austria

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902395

Online ISBN: 9781118668757



  • Alfven waves;
  • Cometary gas;
  • Comet Halley bow shock;
  • Plasma waves;
  • Solar wind;
  • VEGA-1 measurements;
  • VEGA-2 measurements


The effect of solar wind loading by cometary ions on the position and structure of the comet Halley bow shock is discussed on the basis of simultaneous measurements of plasma, magnetic field and plasma waves aboard the “Vega-1” and “Vega-2” spacecraft. Data from the inbound crossings of the bow shock show that both quasiperpendiuclar (“Vega-1”) and quasiparallel (“Vega-2”) shocks were observed. The thickness of these shocks is greater than that of the Earth's bow shock at least by the ratio of the masses of cometary ions and protons. The bow shock position is reasonably well described by the kinetic model of solar wind loading by cometary ions.