First Results at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Ion Composition Analyzer of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium
Thursday, 18 December 2014
We present the first results from the Ion Composition Analyzer of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium. At the time of writing this abstract the spacecraft has just reached the comet. The first detection of heavy ions in the ICA data consists of one instance of low energy ions moving anti-sunward on 6 August. On the morning of 7 August more heavy ions were detected, this time a very cold beam of ions in the O to CO2 mass range at an energy of a few 100 eV, moving approximately orthogonal to the solar wind flow direction. Over the coming weeks and months we expect to see signatures of ion pick up, mass loading, possibly ions reflected from the comet surface. Our instrument allow us to separate CO2 ions from water group ions, and we hope to see how the relative abundance varies with cometary activity and solar wind conditions.