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Author Shou, Y. ♦ Combi, M. ♦ Gombosi, T. ♦ Toth, G. ♦ Jia, Y. -D. ♦ Rubin, M.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY ♦ ANALYTICAL SOLUTION ♦ CHEMICAL REACTIONS ♦ COMETS ♦ COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS ♦ DISTANCE ♦ ELECTRON TEMPERATURE ♦ ION TEMPERATURE ♦ IONS ♦ LIMITING VALUES ♦ MAGNETIC FIELDS ♦ MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS ♦ PLASMA ♦ PROTON DENSITY ♦ SHOCK WAVES ♦ SOLAR WIND ♦ SPACE VEHICLES ♦ VELOCITY
Abstract On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses.
ISSN 0004637X
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2015-08-20
Publisher Place United States
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Volume Number 809
Issue Number 2


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