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The upstream region, foreshock and bow shock wave at comet P/Halley from plasma electron measurements

  • K. A. Anderson
  • C. W. Carlson
  • D. W. Curtis
  • R. P. Lin
  • H. Rème
  • J. A. Sauvaud
  • C. d’Uston
  • A. Korth
  • A. K. Richter
  • D. A. Mendis
Conference paper

Summary

We survey the plasma electron parameters from a distance 2.7106 km from the comet nucleus to the bow shock wave at about 1.1 106 km and somewhat beyond. We describe the features of the electron foreshock lying outside the shock to a distance of about 230,000 km. It is a region of intense solar wind-comet plasma interaction in which energetic electrons are prominent. Several spikes of electrons whose energies extend to about 2.5 keV appear in front of the shock. These energetic electrons may have been accelerated in the same way electrons are accelerated at the Earth’s bow shock to energies of 1 to 10 keV. The direction of the electron bulk flow direction changes abruptly between 1920 and 1922 UT, and the flow speed begins a sharp decline at the same time. We believe the spacecraft has entered the bow shock wave sometime between 1920 and 1922 UT. We find that the electron density variations at P/Halley are very much smaller than those reported at Giacobini-Zinner.

Key words

comets plasmas shock waves Sun (the): solar wind 

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References

  1. Anderson, K.A., Lin, R.P., Martel, F., Lin, C.S., Parks, G.K., Rème, H.: 1979, Geophys. Res. Letters 6, 401ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bame, S.J.: 1986, Science 232, 356ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Rème, H., Sauvaud, J.A., d’Uston, C., Cotin, F., Cros, A., Anderson, K.A., Carlson, C.W., Curtis, D.W., Lin, R.P., Mendis, D.A., Korth, A., Richter, A.K.: 1986, Nature 321, 349ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Tsurutani, B.T., Smith, E.J.: 1986, Geophys. Res. Letters 13, 263ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Anderson
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. W. Carlson
    • 1
  • D. W. Curtis
    • 1
  • R. P. Lin
    • 1
  • H. Rème
    • 3
  • J. A. Sauvaud
    • 3
  • C. d’Uston
    • 3
  • A. Korth
    • 4
  • A. K. Richter
    • 4
  • D. A. Mendis
    • 5
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Centre d’Etude Spatiale des RayonnementsToulouse CedexFrance
  4. 4.Max-Planck-Institut für AeronomieKatlenburg-Lindau 3Federal Republic of Germany
  5. 5.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer SciencesUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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