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Singing comet waves in a solar wind convective electric field frame
  • Charlotte Goetz,
  • Ferdinand Plaschke,
  • Matthew G. G. T. Taylor
Charlotte Goetz
European Space Agency

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ferdinand Plaschke
Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences
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Matthew G. G. T. Taylor
European Space Agency
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The cometary plasma environment at low gas production rates is dominated by highly compressional, large amplitude magnetic field waves in the 10-100mHz range. They are thought to be caused by an ion-Weibel instability due to a cross-field current, which is caused by the cometary ions that are accelerated along the solar wind convective electric field. We devise a new method to determine the location of the wave detection, the wave power, frequency, and bandwidth. It is found that the wave occurs everywhere in the coma, regardless of electric field direction. There is no correlation between the wave frequency and the measured plasma density. This is not in agreement with previous studies. A dependence of the frequency on the position of the spacecraft in a comet-fixed frame is in agreement with the prediction from the ion-Weibel instability. We infer a wave generation region much larger than the distances covered by Rosetta.
28 Apr 2020Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 47 issue 8. 10.1029/2020GL087418