Volume 430, Number 2, February I 2005
|Page(s)||L33 - L36|
|Published online||20 January 2005|
Letter to the Editor
X-ray tomography of a cometary bow shock
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, 85748 Garching, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 85748 Garching, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 11 December 2004
The volume intensity of the cometary X-ray emission is enhanced behind the bow shock by a factor of up to three. This effect offers the opportunity to identify the bow shock by a tomographic method in X-ray images of comets. By an analysis of the X-ray data obtained by XMM-Newton from Comet C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR) we obtain information on the position, the shape and the structure of the bow shock of this comet. In particular, we get for the first time a global image of the subsolar part of the bow shock, which up to now has not been visited by spacecrafts. The shock is not a sharp discontinuous jump but rather a gradual transition in a region of about 40 000 km width. An asymmetry can well be explained by the inclination of the interplanetary magnetic field. Our results are consistent with theoretical expectations as well as with results from spacecraft observations.
Key words: comets: general / shock wave / X-rays: comets
© ESO, 2005
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.