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Observation of a new type of low-frequency waves at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

By I. Richter, C. Koenders, H.-U. Auster, D. Frühauff, C. Götz, P. Heinisch, C. Perschke, U. Motschmann, B. Stoll, Kathrin Altwegg, J. Burch, C. Carr, E. Cupido, A. Eriksson, P. Henri, R. Goldstein, J.-P. Lebreton, P. Mokashi, Z. Nemeth, H. Nilsson, Martin Rubin, K. Szegö, B. T. Tsurutani, C. Vallat, M. Volwerk and K.-H. Glassmeier

Abstract

We report on magnetic field measurements made in the innermost coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in its low-activity state. Quasi-coherent, large-amplitude (δ B/B ~ 1), compressional magnetic field oscillations at ~ 40 mHz dominate the immediate plasma environment of the nucleus. This differs from previously studied cometary interaction regions where waves at the cometary ion gyro-frequencies are the main feature. Thus classical pickup-ion-driven instabilities are unable to explain the observations. We propose a cross-field current instability associated with newborn cometary ion currents as a possible source mechanism

Topics: 520 Astronomy, 620 Engineering
Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.5194/angeo-33-1031-2015
OAI identifier: oai:boris.unibe.ch:74113

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