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COMET INTERACTION WITH THE SOLAR WIND

The images below show the results of a simulation of a cometary atmosphere done by Mehdi Benna and Paul Mahaffy (CASIM, GSFC code 915). Shown are plots of the pressure field of the bow shock around the comet resulting from its interaction with the solar wind. The solar wind is assumed to be Mach 10. The comet is a Wirtanen-type comet at 1.7 a.u.. 28 levels of refinement are used to fully resolve the comet, while at the same time capturing the behaviour of the bow shock. A Lax-Friedrich solver is used to model a multi component (ion, electron, neutral) fluid.

Pressure field of the bow shock surrounding the comet.

Pressure field overlaid with block outlines.

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Same as above but with block outlines. The cometary nucleus is visible.

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Same as above but without block outlines, showing the finest scales of the calculation and the resolved comet.

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