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Observation by Pioneer 7 of He+in the distant coma of Halley's comet

Authors
Journal
Icarus
0019-1035
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
71
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0019-1035(87)90172-2
Disciplines
  • Astronomy
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract During the approach of Pioneer 7 to a distance of 12.1 × 10 6 km from the nucleus of Comet P/Halley on March 20, 1986, features were observed in plasma analyzer data that we interpret as He + produced by charge exchange of solar wind He ++ with neutral cometary material. The maximum flux of the He + was observed several hours after the closest approach of the spacecraft to the nucleus, and is unexpectedly large. Remarkable large discontinuous flux changes were also observed.

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