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Observations of the plasma flow in comet P/Swift‐Tuttle

Brown, Michael E. and Johns, Christopher M. and Spinrad, Hyron (1993) Observations of the plasma flow in comet P/Swift‐Tuttle. Geophysical Research Letters, 20 (11). pp. 1003-1006. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/93GL01123.

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We present direct ground based observations of the plasma flow sunward and tailward of the nucleus of comet P/Swift‐Tuttle. The observations are long‐slit high resolution spectra of the H_2O^+ emission centered at 6199Å with a velocity resolution of about 7 km s^(−1) (FWHM) and a spatial resolution of about 10^4 km at the comet. Emission is visible from just inside the predicted position of the cometopause on the sunward side of the nucleus out to 5 × 10^5 km on the tailward side. The deceleration of the solar plasma on the sunward side is clearly observed as is the acceleration of cometary ions into the tail. These observations show the effectiveness of ground based methods for the systematic study of cometary plasmas and point to the need for a better theoretical understanding of their acceleration mechanisms.

Item Type:Article
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Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 1993 American Geophysical Union. Received: March 22, 1993; accepted 16 April 1993. We are indebted to Tony Misch at Lick Observatory for his continued assistance and to Don Yeomans for an updated ephemeris. MEB acknowledges the support of a NASA Graduate Fellowship, and HS is supported by NASA grant NAGW-2883.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121002-093000541
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Official Citation:Brown, Michael E.; Johns, Christopher M.; Spinrad, Hyron Observations of the plasma flow in comet P/Swift‐Tuttle Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 20, No. 11, pp. 1003-1006, doi:10.1029/93GL01123
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34612
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:02 Oct 2012 16:56
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:09

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