Comet Halley | Published:

Energetic ions in the environment of comet Halley

Naturevolume 321pages347349 (1986) | Download Citation



The energetic particle experiment, EPONA/EPA, carried aboard the Giotto spacecraft recorded in situ measurements of energetic charged particles on the sunward side of comet Halley, from a trajectory very close to the nucleus (closest approach 600 km). Here we present selected observations from the inbound and outbound passes. Preliminary studies suggest the presence on the inbound pass of an ion ‘pick-up’ region (6×l06 km in extent) and a region inside the bow shock (<106 km in extent) where possible signatures of mass loading were evident. Acceleration by the pick-up process in the solar wind is inadequate to explain the energies of the observed ions.

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  1. St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland

    • S. McKenna-Lawlor
  2. Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, PO Box 20, D-3411, Katlenburg-Lindau, FRG

    • E. Kirsch
  3. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin, Ireland

    • D. O'Sullivan
    •  & A. Thompson
  4. Space Science Department, ESA/ESTEC, 2200 AG, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

    • K.-P. Wenzel


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