The dynamics of charged dust in the tail of comet Giacobini‐Zinner Journal Article uri icon



  • A numerical simulation has been performed to calculate the distributions of dust particles of various sizes down the tail of comet P/Giacobini‐Zinner. When the electrostatic charging of the grains in the plasma and radiative environment of the comet is taken into account, it is found that the distribution of the grains (particularly at the lowest end of the mass spectrum) in a plane normal to the orbital plane is entirely different from what is expected had the grains been uncharged. Although the NASA‐ICE spacecraft, which will fly through the tail of this comet almost normal to its orbital plane on September 11, 1985, has no dedicated dust experiments, it is expected that the plasma wave instrument will serve as an indirect detector, even of the smallest grains, via the plasma clouds created by the high‐velocity dust impacts. Knowledge of the spatial variation of the grain sizes encountered along the flight path of the spacecraft will provide us with the information necessary to calculate the electrostatic potential of the grains, which in turn will lead to an estimation of the role of the electromagnetic forces on the dynamics of such grains.

publication date

  • January 1, 1986

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • February 16, 2015 12:07 PM

Full Author List

  • Horanyi M; Mendis DA

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-0227

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 355

end page

  • 361


  • 91


  • A1