Encounters with comets: discoveries and puzzles in cometary plasma physics

  • A. A. Galeev

Summary

The encounters of various cometary probes with comets led to the discovery of a number of phenomena that were not envisaged by the existing theories based mainly on the magnetohydrodynamic description of the solar wind interaction with cometary plasma: the generation of strong magnetohydrodynamic turbulence by the loading of solar wind by cometary ions, the discovery of thin plasma structures in an inner coma that correlate with the bursts of plasma waves and the anomalously thin boundaries in a solar wind flow near comets that indicate the importance of collective plasma processes for the formation of these structures and boundaries. The paper reviews the observations of these phenomena from spacecraft and the kinetic theories of cometary plasma that were developed recently and that are able to provide a natural explanation of observed puzzling phenomena.

Key words

comets magnetohydrodynamics shock waves solar wind turbulence 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Galeev
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Research InstituteMoscow, GSP-1USSR

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