UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Weak and strong comets in the solar wind

Jones, Geraint Hughes; (1998) Weak and strong comets in the solar wind. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of out.pdf] Text

Download (23MB)


When within the inner solar system, comets possess gaseous atmospheres. The gases therein are ionized, and eventually join the solar wind. This thesis describes an investigation of the interaction of comets with the solar wind. The work begins with an overview of the processes involved in the comet-solar wind interaction region, and the domains and boundaries that exist in the region. A review of remote observations of cometary ions is given. The characteristics of visible plasma features are summarized, together with the theories proposed to explain them. An overview of the Giotto spacecraft and its instruments, and a description of its mission to two comets are presented. Ground-based observations were obtained of the ion features present in Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake. The morphologies and motions of the comet's plasma features are described. The formation of tail rays was captured during a high temporal resolution image sequence. A gas production rate estimate is derived from the observations, and a model of ray morphologies is proposed, based partly upon observational evidence. 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova and C/1996 Q1 Tabur were also observed; however, no strong ion features were detected. An analysis of the plasma features of 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup then follows. A description of the solar wind conditions at that comet during the Giotto encounter is given, and an estimate of its production rate is made. Ground-based observations of Grigg-Skjellerup are compared to in-situ Giotto data. Morphological features were detected in ground-based images; it is proposed that they could have been linked to certain solar wind discontinuities. A qualitative description of a model of ion ray formation then follows. The thesis concludes with a summary of the main results.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Weak and strong comets in the solar wind
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Pure sciences; Comets; Solar wind
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098076
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item