Dust Particles Detected Near Giacobini-Zinner by the Ice Plasma Wave Instrument

  1. Thomas J. Birmingham and
  2. Alexander J. Dessler
  1. D.A. Gurnett1,
  2. T.F. Averkamp1,
  3. F.L. Scarf2 and
  4. E. Grün3

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP027p0324

Comet Encounters

Comet Encounters

How to Cite

Gurnett, D.A., Averkamp, T.F., Scarf, F.L. and Grün, E. (1988) Dust Particles Detected Near Giacobini-Zinner by the Ice Plasma Wave Instrument, in Comet Encounters (eds T. J. Birmingham and A. J. Dessler), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.. doi: 10.1029/SP027p0324

Author Information

  1. 1

    Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

  2. 2

    Trw Space and Technology Group, One Space Park, Redondo Beach, California

  3. 3

    Max-Planck-Institut Für Kernphysik, 6900 Heidelberg, West Germany

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902395

Online ISBN: 9781118668757



  • Antenna voltages;
  • Giacobini-Zinner;
  • International Cometary Explorer (ICE);
  • Plasma wave;
  • Radio astronomy


During the ICE flyby of Giacobini-Zinner the plasma wave instrument detected numerous impulsive signals caused by dust impacts on the spacecraft. Most of the impacts occurred within 30,000 km of the comet. The impact rate averaged over the inbound and outbound legs varies approximately as l/r2, as would be expected for an isotropic constant velocity radial outflow. Small differences between the inbound and outbound legs exist which may be indicative of azimuthal variations in the dust production rate. A simple model of the impact ionization and charge collection by the antenna indicates that the particles have a mass on the order of 10−12 to 10−12 gm, corresponding to particles with radii of a few microns.