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Cometary plasma response to interplanetary corotating interaction regions during 2016 June-September: a quantitative study by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium
CNRS, LPC2E, F-45071 Orleans, France.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0447-1531
CNRS, LPC2E, F-45071 Orleans, France.
CNRS, LPC2E, F-45071 Orleans, France.
Imperial Coll London, Dept Phys, Prince Consort Rd, London SW7 2AZ, England.
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2018 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 480, no 4, p. 4544-4556Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Four interplanetary corotating interaction regions (CIRs) were identified during 2016 June-September by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) monitoring in situ the plasma environment of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) at heliocentric distances of similar to 3-3.8 au. The CIRs, formed in the interface region between low- and high-speed solar wind streams with speeds of similar to 320-400 km s(-1) and similar to 580-640 km s(-1), respectively, are characterized by relative increases in solar wind proton density by factors of similar to 13-29, in proton temperature by similar to 7-29, and in magnetic field by similar to 1-4 with respect to the pre-CIR values. The CIR boundaries are well defined with interplanetary discontinuities. Out of 10 discontinuities, four are determined to be forward waves and five are reverse waves, propagating at similar to 5-92 per cent of the magnetosonic speed at angles of similar to 20 degrees-87 degrees relative to ambient magnetic field. Only one is identified to be a quasi-parallel forward shock with magnetosonic Mach number of similar to 1.48 and shock normal angle of similar to 41 degrees. The cometary ionosphere response was monitored by Rosetta from cometocentric distances of similar to 4-30 km. A quiet time plasma density map was developed by considering dependences on cometary latitude, longitude, and cometocentric distance of Rosetta observations before and after each of the CIR intervals. The CIRs lead to plasma density enhancements of similar to 500-1000 per cent with respect to the quiet time reference level. Ionospheric modelling shows that increased ionization rate due to enhanced ionizing (>12-200 eV) electron impact is the prime cause of the large cometary plasma density enhancements during the CIRs. Plausible origin mechanisms of the cometary ionizing electron enhancements are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 480, no 4, p. 4544-4556
Keywords [en]
methods: data analysis, methods: observational, Sun: rotation, solar wind, comets: general, comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371053DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2166ISI: 000449617100022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371053DiVA, id: diva2:1272722
Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2018-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Edberg, Niklas J. T.Eriksson, Anders I.

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Hajra, RajkumarEdberg, Niklas J. T.Eriksson, Anders I.
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Fusion, Plasma and Space PhysicsAstronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

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