Volume 630, October 2019
Rosetta mission full comet phase results
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||20 September 2019|
RPC-MIP observations at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko explained by a model including a sheath and two populations of electrons
Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d’Energie (LAPLACE), Université de Toulouse, CNRS,
31062 Toulouse, France
2 Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace (LPC2E), CNRS, 45071 Orléans, France
Accepted: 2 March 2019
The response of the mutual impedance probe RPC-MIP on board Rosetta orbiter electrostatically modeled considering an unmagnetized and collisionless plasma with two Maxwellian electron populations. A vacuum sheath surrounding the probe was considered in our model in order to take the ion sheath into account that is located around the probe, which is immersed in the cometary plasma. For the first time, the simulated results are consistent with the data collected around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), but strong discrepancies were identified with the previous simulations that neglected the plasma sheath around the probe. We studied the influence of the sheath thickness and of the electron populations. This work helps to better understand the initially unexpected responses of the mutual impedance probe that were acquired during the Rosetta mission. It suggests that two electron populations exist in the cometary plasma of 67P.
Key words: plasmas / comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
© G. Wattieaux et al. 2019
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