Kinetic simulation of neutral∕ionized gas and electrically charged dust in the coma of comet 67P∕Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Tenishev, Valeriy; Rubin, Martin; Combi, Michael R. (2011). Kinetic simulation of neutral∕ionized gas and electrically charged dust in the coma of comet 67P∕Churyumov-Gerasimenko. AIP conference proceedings, 1333, pp. 1169-1174. American Institute of Physics 10.1063/1.3562802

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The cometary coma is a unique phenomenon in the solar system being a planetary atmosphere influenced by little or no gravity. As a comet approaches the sun, the water vapor with some fraction of other gases sublimate, generating a cloud of gas, ice and other refractory materials (rocky and organic dust) ejected from the surface of the nucleus. Sublimating gas molecules undergo frequent collisions and photochemical processes in the near‐nucleus region. Owing to its negligible gravity, comets produce a large and highly variable extensive dusty coma with a size much larger than the characteristic size of the cometary nucleus. The Rosetta spacecraft is en route to comet 67P/Churyumov‐Gerasimenko for a rendezvous, landing, and extensive orbital phase beginning in 2014. Both, interpretation of measurements and safety consideration of the spacecraft require modeling of the comet’s dusty gas environment. In this work we present results of a numerical study of multispecies gaseous and electrically charged dust environment of comet Chyuryumov‐Gerasimenko. Both, gas and dust phases of the coma are simulated kinetically. Photolytic reactions are taken into account. Parameters of the ambient plasma as well as the distribution of electric/magnetic fields are obtained from an MHD simulation [1] of the coma connected to the solar wind. Trajectories of ions and electrically charged dust grains are simulated by accounting for the Lorentz force and the nucleus gravity.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Rubin, Martin


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




American Institute of Physics




Martin Rubin

Date Deposited:

04 May 2016 15:36

Last Modified:

13 Oct 2017 08:27

Publisher DOI:





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