Heat Flux Observations and the Location of The Transition Region Boundary of Giacobini-Zinner

  1. Thomas J. Birmingham and
  2. Alexander J. Dessler
  1. S.A. Fuselier1,
  2. W.C. Feldman1,
  3. S.J. Bame1,
  4. E.J. Smith2 and
  5. F.L. Scarf3

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP027p0165

Comet Encounters

Comet Encounters

How to Cite

Fuselier, S.A., Feldman, W.C., Bame, S.J., Smith, E.J. and Scarf, F.L. (1988) Heat Flux Observations and the Location of The Transition Region Boundary of Giacobini-Zinner, in Comet Encounters (eds T. J. Birmingham and A. J. Dessler), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/SP027p0165

Author Information

  1. 1

    Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

  2. 2

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

  3. 3

    TRW, Redondo Beach, CA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902395

Online ISBN: 9781118668757



  • cometary;
  • Earth's magnetosheath;
  • Electron plasma oscilla tion;
  • Giacobini-Zinner;
  • Heat flux;
  • Solar wind


Electron heat flux observations and associated plasma phenomena upstream from comet Giacobini-Zinner show many similarities to observations upstream from the Earth's magnetosheath. Two similarities are discussed. Heat flux events are used to compute the transition region boundary location. The computed subsolar standoff distance of 4×104 km is commensurate with a comet gas production rate, G, of 3×1028 molecules/s (mol/s), in accord with ground-based determinations of G.