2021A&A...647A.119S


Query : 2021A&A...647A.119S

2021A&A...647A.119S - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 647A, 119-119 (2021/3-1)

Multi-instrument analysis of far-ultraviolet aurora in the southern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

STEPHENSON P., GALAND M., FELDMAN P.D., BETH A., RUBIN M., BOCKELEE-MORVAN D., BIVER N., CHENG Y.-C., PARKER J., BURCH J., JOHANSSON F.L. and ERIKSSON A.

Abstract (from CDS):


Aims. We aim to determine whether dissociative excitation of cometary neutrals by electron impact is the major source of far-ultraviolet (FUV) emissions at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the southern hemisphere at large heliocentric distances, both during quiet conditions and impacts of corotating interaction regions observed in the summer of 2016.
Methods. We combined multiple datasets from the Rosetta mission through a multi-instrument analysis to complete the first forward modelling of FUV emissions in the southern hemisphere of comet 67P and compared modelled brightnesses to observations with the Alice FUV imaging spectrograph. We modelled the brightness of OI1356, OI1304, Lyman-β, CI1657, and CII1335 emissions, which are associated with the dissociation products of the four major neutral species in the coma: CO2, H2O, CO, and O2. The suprathermal electron population was probed by the Ion and Electron Sensor of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium and the neutral column density was constrained by several instruments: the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA), the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter and the Visual InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer.
Results. The modelled and observed brightnesses of the FUV emission lines agree closely when viewing nadir and dissociative excitation by electron impact is shown to be the dominant source of emissions away from perihelion. The CII1335 emissions are shown to be consistent with the volume mixing ratio of CO derived from ROSINA. When viewing the limb during the impacts of corotating interaction regions, the model reproduces brightnesses of OI1356 and CI1657 well, but resonance scattering in the extended coma may contribute significantly to the observed Lyman-β and OI1304 emissions. The correlation between variations in the suprathermal electron flux and the observed FUV line brightnesses when viewing the comet's limb suggests electrons are accelerated on large scales and that they originate in the solar wind. This means that the FUV emissions are auroral in nature.

Abstract Copyright: © ESO 2021

Journal keyword(s): comets: individual: 67P/CG - ultraviolet: planetary systems - planets and satellites: aurorae

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/A+A/647/A119): albjul.dat albaug.dat albnad.dat energy.dat efluxjul.dat efluxaug.dat efluxnad.dat efreqjul.dat efreqaug.dat efreqnad.dat modbjul.dat modbaug.dat modbnad.dat>

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