36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 33 Comets: Comae
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[33.17] Complex Particles in Cometary Coma

J.T.T. Mäkinen (ESA)

A new N-body particle simulator with full rigid body dynamics has been developed to study the cometary particle environment. The code can also be used to build fractal test particles from hard or soft spheres (metaballs) through aggregation. Once ejected from the nucleus of a comet, a complex particle interacts with its gaseous and radiative environment like a mini-comet in its own right, and can undergo further fragmentation. These phenomena affect the expected density and size distribution of particles in the coma. Basic features of the simulator, relevant physical phenomena and results from statistical studies on particle behavior are presented.

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