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The infant bow shock: a new frontier at a weak activity comet

The infant bow shock: a new frontier at a weak activity comet

Publication date: 06 November 2018

Authors: Gunell, H., et al.

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume: 619
Page: L2
Year: 2018

Copyright: © ESO 2018

The bow shock is the first boundary the solar wind encounters as it approaches planets or comets. The Rosetta spacecraft was able to observe the formation of a bow shock by following comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko toward the Sun, through perihelion, and back outward again. The spacecraft crossed the newly formed bow shock several times during two periods a few months before and after perihelion; it observed an increase in magnetic field magnitude and oscillation amplitude, electron and proton heating at the shock, and the diminution of the solar wind further downstream. Rosetta observed a cometary bow shock in its infancy, a stage in its development not previously accessible to in situ measurements at comets and planets.

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Last Update: Sep 1, 2019 8:19:03 AM
15-Jul-2020 09:34 UT

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