36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 34 Comets: Nuclei, Tails, Solar Wind
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[34.08] The plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko throughout the Rosetta mission

Y-D. Jia, K. C. Hansen, M. R. Combi, T. I. Gombosi (Univ. Michigan)

We present results of a series of simulations of the plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the target of the Rosetta mission. Using our three dimensional, global MHD model (BATSRUS) we have studied the comet-solar wind interaction over a range of conditions corresponding to key times during the mission. These range vary from the very tenuous conditions after the initial Rosetta measurements (r = 3.25 AU and Q = 1024 s-1) to the more active conditions near perihelion (r = 1.29 AU and Q = 5 x 1027 s-1). We will present the plasma conditions over the entire cometary environment. To ensure the entire mass loading region is included in the simulation domain our model begins 4 million kilometers sunward of the nucleus, more than 100 times the largest cometary bowshock distance. BATSRUS uses a powerful block based multi-stage grid system which allows us to resolve simultaneously both the bowshock and the inner contact surface. The model computes the steady state global plasma conditions in terms of density, velocity, magnetic field, and pressure distributions. This intial work is targeted at providing data which can be coupled to other cometary models including neutral gas models (providing the plasma source) and ion-chemical and electron temperature models (which use the MHD plasma conditions and magnetic field lines).

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: yingdong@umich.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.