Acceleration of ions and nano dust at a comet in the solar wind
Simon Wedlund, C.
De Keyser, J.
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A quasi-neutral hybrid simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with the atmosphere of a comet is used together with a test particle simulation of cometary ions and dust to compute trajectories and velocity distribution functions of charged particles, starting outside the diamagnetic cavity at 150 km cometocentric distance. The simulations are run with parameters suited to make predictions for comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko when it is at a heliocentric distance of 1.45 AU. It is found that the shape of the ion trajectories depends on the location of the source, and that a velocity distribution that is observed at a given point in space is influenced by the spatial structure of the source. Charged dust grains with radii in the 1–10 nm range are accelerated from the nucleus to a distance of 2.9×104km in between 15 min and 2 h approximately. Dust particles smaller than 10 nm in radius are accelerated to speeds over 10 km/s.
CitationGunell, H.; Mann, I.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Kallio, E.; Alho, M.; Nilsson, H.; De Keyser, J.; Dhooghe, F.; Maggiolo, R. (2015). Acceleration of ions and nano dust at a comet in the solar wind. , Planetary and Space Science, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2015.08.019.