Plasma Density and Magnetic Field Fluctuations in the Ion Gyro-Frequency Range Near the Diamagnetic Cavity of Comet 67P

Elias Odelstad, A. I. Eriksson, M. André, D. B. Graham, T. Karlsson, A. Vaivads, E. Vigren, C. Goetz, H. Nilsson, P. Henri, G. Stenberg-Wieser

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the detection of large-amplitude, quasi-harmonic density fluctuations with associated magnetic field oscillations in the region surrounding the diamagnetic cavity of comet 67P. Typical frequencies are ∼0.1 Hz, corresponding to ∼10 times the water and urn:x-wiley:jgra:media:jgra56100:jgra56100-math-0001 times the proton gyro-frequencies, respectively. Magnetic field oscillations are not always clearly observed in association with these density fluctuations, but when they are, they consistently have wave vectors perpendicular to the background magnetic field, with the principal axis of polarization close to field-aligned and with a ∼90° phase shift with respect to the density fluctuations. The fluctuations are observed in association with asymmetric plasma density and magnetic field enhancements previously found in the region surrounding the diamagnetic cavity, occurring predominantly on their descending slopes. This is a new type of waves not previously observed at comets. They are likely ion Bernstein waves, and we propose that they are excited by unstable ring, ring-beam, or spherical shell distributions of cometary ions just outside the cavity boundary. These waves may play an important role in redistributing energy between different particle populations and reshape the plasma environment of the comet.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JA028592
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research A: Space Physics
Volume125
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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