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Global plasma-parameter simulation of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaching the Sun

Gortsas, N. and Motschmann, U. and Kührt, E. and Glassmeier, K.-H. and Hansen, K. C. and Müller, J. and Schmidt, A. (2010) Global plasma-parameter simulation of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaching the Sun. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 520, A92. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201014761.

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Abstract

We simulate the evolution of the plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), which is the target comet of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission, as the comet approaches the Sun. The plasma environment is calculated in three dimensions with a hybrid plasma model. The model treats the dynamics of the solar wind protons and the cometary ions in the framework of the macroparticle approach while the electrons are treated as a massless, charge-neutralizing fluid. The simulation starts at 4.2 AU and finishes at 1.3 AU. The outgassing strength of the comet is calculated from a thermal nucleus model. The model accounts for heat conduction, heat advection, gas diffusion, sublimation, and condensation processes in a porous ice-dust matrix with moving boundaries. The movement of the boundaries (Stefan problem) is accounted for by a temperature remapping technique. The maxima of the cometary ion flux and of the magnetic field in the simulation domain are presented as functions of heliocentric distance. The bow shock (BS), the ion composition boundary (ICB), and the magnetic pileup boundary (MPB) position along the Sun-comet line as a function of heliocentric distance are also discussed. A comparison of the BS position with an analytical formula yields good agreement. The MPB and the ICB along the Sun-comet line coincide.

Document Type:Article
Title:Global plasma-parameter simulation of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaching the Sun
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Gortsas, N. nikolaos.gortsas@dlr.de
Motschmann, U.TU Braunschweig, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Braunschweig
Kührt, E. ekkehard.kuehrt@dlr.de
Glassmeier, K.-H.MPI for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau
Hansen, K. C.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, The University of Michigan, USA
Müller, J.Institute for Theoretical Physics, TU Braunschweig
Schmidt, A.European Space Astronomy Centre, Madrid, Spain
Date:July 2010
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomy and Astrophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:520
DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201014761
Page Range:A92
Status:Published
Keywords:comets, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, plasmas, magnetic fields, interplanetary medium, numerical methods
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Asteroiden und Kometen (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Deposited By: Laura-Maria Brumm
Deposited On:10 Jan 2011 11:48
Last Modified:07 Feb 2013 20:50

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