Comet Halley | Published:

Energetic ions in the environment of comet Halley

Nature volume 321, pages 347349 (15 May 1986) | Download Citation

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Abstract

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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Author information

Affiliations

  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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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/321347a0

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