The study of comet plasma physics has long been a fascinating field of astronomical research and it has become more so after the flyby observations of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner by the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) spacecraft in 1985 and the flotilla of space probes to Comet P/Halley in 1986. This point may be appreciated just by noting the dramatic surge in publications in space physics concerned with comet plasma. Furthermore, while the solar wind interaction with comets and the novel physical processes involved therein should be investigated in their own rights, comet comae also provide a natural laboratory for the simulations of many intriguing phenomena in astrophysical environments. Some of the most sophisticated magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical simulations have indeed been carried out to study the morphologies and dynamics of comet plasmae.
KeywordsDust Anisotropy Convection Recombination Hydrocarbon
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