Neutral points at the cometary diamagnetic cavity boundary as possible source of cometary rays

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Abstract

The point source of neutral gas undergoing ionization and expanding into an uniform magnetic field is considered. Friction between the neutral and ionized particles results in the formation of the magnetic field barrier and diamagnetic cavity surrounding the source. At least one neutral point inevitably arises at the boundary of the cavity. When the neutral gas production rate grows, two neutral points may arise at this boundary. In the vicinity of these points magnetic field lines converge, along with the plasma flow which is magnetic field aligned in the steady state. As a result, two plasma jets originate from the neutral points. Possible relation of these jets to cometary rays is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalEarth, Moon and Planets
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Cometary rays
  • Comets
  • Neutral points

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