Space, Time, and Gravity - Theory of the Big Bang, Black by R. Wald

By R. Wald

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Downstream of the shock the newly picked-up cometary ions are merely warm (T 1 keV), and most of the ion pressure still comes from the hot ions acquired by the flow upstream of the shock. Cometary Plasma Processes Geophysical Monograph 61 0 1991 American Geophysical Union 27 28 COLLISIONAL PROCESSES IN COMETARY PLASMAS Bow Shock Upstream Region Soler Wind Protons Hot Cometery Ions Soler Wind Electrons Fig. 1. Schematic of the cometary plasma environment and locations of several plasma populations, including where they originate and where they are removed or significantly modified by collisions.

There are also effects of dust on the plasma, such as depletion and heating or cooling depending on the strength of the UV radiation field. g. see Nakano, 1984] for a detailed review. However, they are not important in the cometary context since the dust density is low. There could of course be more subtile effects. e. less than the ion plasma and gyrofrequency). Very little work has been done in this area. The value of a is highly uncertain, and is expected to vary with position as was observed at Halley's comet.

Local balance between production and loss for a particular ion species) provides a good means of determining ion densities, and transport can be neglected. The collisionopause marking this transition is at a different location for each ion species, and depends on the chemical time constant. Consider H2O+ ions. This ion is mainly produced directly via photoionization of H2O and is chemically removed by reaction with neutral water. The photochemical equilibrium density profile can be estimated to be n 500 cm -3 [Cravens, 1986], which should be appropriate inside the H2O+ collisionopause.

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