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Birth of a comet magnetosphere: A spring of water ions

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Title: Birth of a comet magnetosphere: A spring of water ions
Authors: Nilsson, H
Wieser, GS
Behar, E
Wedlund, CS
Gunell, H
Yamauchi, M
Lundin, R
Barabash, S
Wieser, M
Carr, C
Cupido, E
Burch, JL
Fedorov, A
Sauvaud, J-A
Koskinen, H
Kallio, E
Lebreton, J-P
Eriksson, A
Edberg, N
Goldstein, R
Henri, P
Koenders, C
Mokashi, P
Nemeth, Z
Richter, I
Szego, K
Volwerk, M
Vallat, C
Rubin, M
Item Type: Journal Article
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 (~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.
Issue Date: 23-Jan-2015
Date of Acceptance: 19-Dec-2014
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/21661
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0571
ISSN: 0036-8075
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Journal / Book Title: Science
Volume: 347
Issue: 6220
Copyright Statement: © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council [2006-2012]
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/K001051/1
ST/K001698/1
ST/H004262/1
ST/K001051/1
ST/H002383/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ROSETTA PLASMA CONSORTIUM
SOLAR-WIND INTERACTION
HALLEY
RPC
67P/CHURYUMOV-GERASIMENKO
ENVIRONMENT
PLANETS
Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ROSETTA PLASMA CONSORTIUM
SOLAR-WIND INTERACTION
HALLEY
RPC
67P/CHURYUMOV-GERASIMENKO
ENVIRONMENT
PLANETS
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN aaa0571
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences