HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Birth of a comet magnetosphere: A spring of water ions

Abstract : The Rosetta mission shall accompany comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a heliocentric distance of >3.6 astronomical units through perihelion passage at 1.25 astronomical units, spanning low and maximum activity levels. Initially, the solar wind permeates the thin comet atmosphere formed from sublimation, until the size and plasma pressure of the ionized atmosphere define its boundaries: A magnetosphere is born. Using the Rosetta Plasma Consortium ion composition analyzer, we trace the evolution from the first detection of water ions to when the atmosphere begins repelling the solar wind (similar to 3.3 astronomical units), and we report the spatial structure of this early interaction. The near-comet water population comprises accelerated ions (<800 electron volts), produced upstream of Rosetta, and lower energy locally produced ions; we estimate the fluxes of both ion species and energetic neutral atoms.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [24 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Nathalie Pothier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 12:53:44 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 8:20:23 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 4:30:19 PM


Files produced by the author(s)




Hans Nilsson, G. Stenberg Wieser, E. Behar, C. S. Wedlund, H. Gunell, et al.. Birth of a comet magnetosphere: A spring of water ions. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015, 347 (6220), pp.aaa0571. ⟨10.1126/science.aaa0571⟩. ⟨insu-01256291⟩



Record views


Files downloads