Dynamics and Structures of Cometary Dust Tails
According to the Whipple-Model (Whipple 1950, 1951), the nucleus of a comet consists mainly of water ice with embedded dust grains. On the nucleus’ approach to the sun around the perihel of its orbit, the ice is vaporizing and so the enclosed dust particles are set free. They are dragged along by the gas flow due to the gas pressure. In a distance of about 20 nucleus radii, the density of the gas has decreased so much that the gas flow does no longer control the motion of the dust particles. Hence, they move through the solar system as free particles.
KeywordsDust Geophysics Alsb
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