Non-linear waves in type-1 comet tails

A. I. Ershkovich, A. A. Chernikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The non-linear stabilization of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability occurring when disturbance amplitudes become finite is studied. A comet tail is considered as a plasma cylinder with free boundary immersed in the solar wind plasma. Due to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability of kink modes the type-1 comet tail is shown to take stable shape. However the sausage-like modes with wavelength of cylinder circumference cannot be stabilized due to finite amplitudes. The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability of sausage modes leads to the comet tail (or individual ray) losing its regular structure and breaking into individual clouds with the characteristic scale of the order of the cylinder diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-670
Number of pages8
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1973
Externally publishedYes


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