Comparison of Mass-loading around Active Comets and Planetary Induced Magnetospheres
Thursday, 17 December 2015: 11:35
2009 (Moscone West)
The phenomenon of massloading is ubiquitous in space plasmas. In situ observations in our solar system have shown that massloading is most conspicuous at active comets as their extended exospheres facilitate the implantation of cometary ions up to a few million km away from their nuclei. But massloading is also important in planetary induced magnetospheres as it contributes to the formation of the obstacle to the incoming plasma winds in addition to gravitationally bound ionosphere. In this work we revisit observations around planets, moons, and active comets with different degree of massloading and discuss the importance of planetary exospheres in the formation of induced magnetospheres. In particular, we focus on the formation of plasma boundaries (induced magnetospheric boundary, bow shock) and in particular the phenomena of accreted, 'fossil' magnetic flux tubes fields - first unveiled at comet P/Halley and more recently observed at Titan.