Space Science Reviews

, Volume 128, Issue 1–4, pp 133–166 | Cite as

The Plasma Environment of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Throughout the Rosetta Main Mission

  • K. C. Hansen
  • T. Bagdonat
  • U. Motschmann
  • C. Alexander
  • M. R. Combi
  • T. E. Cravens
  • T. I. Gombosi
  • Y.-D. Jia
  • I. P. Robertson
Article

Abstract

The plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Rosetta mission target comet, is explored over a range of heliocentric distances throughout the mission: 3.25 AU (Rosetta instruments on), 2.7 AU (Lander down), 2.0 AU, and 1.3 AU (perihelion). Because of the large range of gas production rates, we have used both a fluid-based magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model as well as a semi-kinetic hybrid particle model to study the plasma distribution. We describe the variation in plasma environs over the mission as well as the differences between the two modeling approaches under different conditions. In addition, we present results from a field aligned, two-stream transport electron model of the suprathermal electron flux when the comet is near perihelion.

Keywords

comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko plasma hybrid simulation MHD simulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. C. Hansen
    • 1
  • T. Bagdonat
    • 2
  • U. Motschmann
    • 2
  • C. Alexander
    • 3
  • M. R. Combi
    • 1
  • T. E. Cravens
    • 4
  • T. I. Gombosi
    • 1
  • Y.-D. Jia
    • 1
  • I. P. Robertson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsTechnical University of BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  3. 3.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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