DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 47. Comets IV: Nuclei, Atmospheres and Dust
Oral, Chairs: S. C. Lowry and J. Pittichova, Saturday, September 6, 2003, 1:30-3:00pm, DeAnza III

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[47.08] Advances in Simulations of Cometary Atmospheres: A Multi-fluid and Chemical Analysis Approach

M. Benna, P. R. Mahaffy (NASA-GSFC)

We present the first results from our Cometary Atmosphere Simulation (CASIM) code that is presently under development to model the interaction of a cometary atmosphere with the solar wind.

The CASIM code is based on a real-time computational combination of two elements:

- A hydrodynamic element that solves in two dimensions the ideal MHD equations for ion and neutral groups using an adaptive MUSCL-Lax-Friedrich algorithm.

- A chemical element that evaluates the contribution of reactions of various species in the coma.

This combined approach leads to a more accurate representation of the cometary atmosphere since additional details of the interaction between the neutral gas and the plasma and their resulting structures are revealed. In particular, the multi-fluid representation of the ion population gives an improved view of the coupling between heavy and light ions and the resulting coma boundaries at different spatial scales.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mehbenna@yahoo.fr

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.