The Plasma Environment of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Throughout the Rosetta Main Mission
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.
Keywordscomet Churyumov-Gerasimenko plasma hybrid simulation MHD simulation
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