Multifluid MHD Simulations of the Plasma Environment of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko at Different Heliocentric Distances

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Zhenguang Huang1, Xianzhe Jia1, Martin Rubin2, Nicolas Fougere1, Tamas I Gombosi1, Valeriy Tenishev1, Michael R Combi1, Andre Michel Bieler1, Gabor Toth1, Kenneth C Hansen1 and Yinsi Shou1, (1)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (2)University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
We study the plasma environment of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is the target of the Rosetta mission, by performing large scale numerical simulations. Our model is based on BATS-R-US within the Space Weather Modeling Framework that solves the governing multifluid MHD equations, which describe the behavior of the cometary heavy ions, the solar wind protons, and electrons. The model includes various mass loading processes, including ionization, charge exchange, dissociative ion-electron recombination, as well as collisional interactions between different fluids. The neutral background used in our MHD simulations is provided by a kinetic Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) model. We will simulate how the cometary plasma environment changes at different heliocentric distances.