37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 16 Comets
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

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[16.08] Rosetta-ISSI Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Environment Model

K.C. Hansen (Univ. of Michigan), C.J. Alexander (JPL), K. Altwegg (Univ. of Bern), T. Bagdonat (TU Branschweig), I. Bertini (Univ. of Bern), A.J. Coates (MSSL), M.R. Combi (Univ. of Michigan), T.E. Cravens (Univ. of Kansas), B.J.R. Davidsson (Uppsala Univ.), J. Geiss (Univ. of Bern), T.I. Gombosi (Univ. of Michigan), M. Horanyi (Univ. of Colorado), Y.-D. Jia (Univ. of Michigan), U. Motschmann (TU Branschweig), H. Rickman (Uppsala Univ.), I.P. Robertson (Univ. of Kansas), G. Schwehm (ESA/ESTEC), V. Tenishev (Univ. of Michigan), N. Thomas (Univ. of Bern)

The main goal of the ISSI (International Space Science Institute) Comet Modeling Team is to improve our understanding of the emission of gas and dust in the comet's coma from the nucleus, the comet solar wind interaction, cometary ion chemistry, and cometary high-energy processes through the combination of state-of-the-art modeling and analysis of observations of the cometary environment. The understanding of comets and cometary processes gained from the ongoing modeling studies will be important preparatory work for future comet missions in general, and the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in particular.

The team has linked together a series of 3D models for the nucleus, neutral gas, plasma, and dust. The model suite includes a thermophysical model of the upper layers of the porous nucleus surface, the Knudsen layer at the boundary with the coma, a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo dusty-gas kinetic model for the neutral dust and gas coma, both magnetohydrodynamic and hybrid-kinetic models for the solar wind cometary plasma interaction, a two-stream thermal and superthermal electron model and a charged dust model.

Information from each model is propagated into the others providing a full description of the environment from the surface out to millions of km. The fully 3D coupled model suite has revealed a number of new insights into the cometary environment. For example, the non-spherical nature of dust and gas flow from the nucleus produces a decidedly non-radial flow in the very inner coma. Other sample results from the model suite will be shown.

The International Space Science Institute and NASA provided partial support for this work.

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