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Solar wind dynamics around a comet: A 2D semi-analytical kinetic model
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna.
LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ. Paris.
IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ. Paris.
LPC2E, CNRS, Orléans.
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2018 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aims.We aim at analytically modelling the solar wind proton trajectories during their interaction with a partially ionised cometaryatmosphere, not in terms of bulk properties of the flow but in terms of single particle dynamics.Methods.We first derive a generalised gyromotion, in which the electric field is reduced to its motional component. Steady-stateis assumed, and simplified models of the cometary density and of the electron fluid are used to express the force experienced byindividual solar wind protons during the interaction.Results.A three-dimensional (3D) analytical expression of the gyration of two interacting plasma beams is obtained. Applying it to acomet case, the force on protons is always perpendicular to their velocity and has an amplitude proportional to 1/r2. The solar winddeflection is obtained at any point in space. The resulting picture presents a caustic of intersecting trajectories, and a circular regionis found that is completely free of particles. The particles do not lose any kinetic energy and this absence of deceleration, togetherwith the solar wind deflection pattern and the presence of a solar wind ion cavity, is in good agreement with the general results of theRosettamission.Conclusions.The qualitative match between the model and thein situdata highlights how dominant the motional electric field isthroughout most of the interaction region for the solar wind proton dynamics. The model provides a simple general kinetic descriptionof how momentum is transferred between these two collisionless plasmas. It also shows the potential of this semi-analytical modelfor a systematic quantitative comparison to the data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EDP Sciences, 2018.
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68781DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832736OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68781DiVA, id: diva2:1206752
Available from: 2018-05-18 Created: 2018-05-18 Last updated: 2018-05-18
In thesis
1. The dynamics of the solar wind in the atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The dynamics of the solar wind in the atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå University of Technology, 2018
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68785 (URN)978-91-7790-156-3 (ISBN)978-91-7790-157-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-12, Aula, IRF, Kiruna, 08:16 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-21 Created: 2018-05-18 Last updated: 2018-05-21Bibliographically approved

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