First Results at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Ion Composition Analyzer of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Hans Nilsson1, Gabriella Stenberg1, Etienne Behar1, Rickard N A Lundin2, Stas Barabash1, Chris Carr3, Emanuele Cupido3, James L Burch4, Andrei Fedorov5, Jean-Andre Sauvaud6, Hannu E J Koskinen7, Esa Jukka Kallio8, Jean-Pierre Lebreton9, Anders I Eriksson10, Karl-Heinz Glassmeier11, Raymond Goldstein12, Pierre Henri13, Christoph Koenders11, Pat Mokashi4, Zoltan Nemeth14, Ingo Richter11, Karoly Szego15 and Claire Vallat16, (1)IRF Swedish Institute of Space Physics Kiruna, Kiruna, Sweden, (2)IRF Swedish Institute of Space Physics Umeå, Umeå, Sweden, (3)Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, (4)Southwest Research Institute San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States, (5)IRAP, Toulouse, France, (6)IRAP/CNRS, Toulouse, France, (7)University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, (8)Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland, (9)University of Orleans, Orleans, France, (10)IRF Swedish Institute of Space Physics Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden, (11)Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany, (12)Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, United States, (13)Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace, Orléans Cedex 2, France, (14)Wigner Research Center for Physics, Budapest, Hungary, (15)Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, (16)ESAC, Villanueva, Spain
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.