Radial distribution of production rates, loss rates and densities corresponding to ion masses ≤40 amu in the inner coma of Comet Halley: composition and chemistry

Haider, S. A. ; Bhardwaj, Anil (2005) Radial distribution of production rates, loss rates and densities corresponding to ion masses ≤40 amu in the inner coma of Comet Halley: composition and chemistry ICARUS, 177 (1). pp. 196-216. ISSN 0019-1035

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Official URL: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S00191...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2005.02.019


In this paper we have studied the chemistry of C, H, N, O, and S compounds corresponding to ions of masses ≤40 amu in the inner coma of the Comet 1P/Halley. The production rates, loss rates, and ion mass densities are calculated using the Analytical Yield Spectrum approach and solving coupled continuity equation controlled by the steady state photochemical equilibrium condition. The primary ionization sources in the model are solar EUV photons, photoelectrons, and auroral electrons of the solar wind origin. The chemical model couples ion-neutral, electron-neutral, photon-neutral and electron-ion reactions among ions, neutrals, electrons, and photons through over 600 chemical reactions. Of the 46 ions considered in the model the chemistry of 24 important ions (viz., CH3OH+2, H3CO+, NH+4, H3S+, H2CN+, H2O+, NH+3, CO+, C3H+3, OH+, H3O+, CH3OH+, C3H+4, C2H+2, C2H+, HCO+, S+, CH+3, H2S+, O+, C+, CH+4, C+2, and O+2) are discussed in this paper. At radial distances <1000 km, the electron density is mainly controlled by 6 ions, viz., NH+4, H3O+, CH3OH+2, H3S+, H2CN+, and H2O+, in the decreasing order of their relative contribution. However, at distances >1000 km, the 6 major ions are H3O+, CH3OH+2, H2O+, H3CO+, C2H+2, and NH+4; along with ions CO+, OH+, and HCO+, whose importance increases with further increase in the radial distance. It is found that at radial distances greater than ~1000 km (±500 km) the major chemical processes that govern the production and loss of several of the important ions in the inner coma are different from those that dominate at distances below this value. The importance of photoelectron impact ionization, and the relative contributions of solar EUV, and auroral and photoelectron ionization sources in the inner coma are clearly revealed by the present study. The calculated ion mass densities are compared with the Giotto Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) data at radial distances 1500, 3500, and 6000 km. There is a reasonable agreement between the model calculation and the Giotto measurements. The nine major peaks in the IMS spectra between masses 10 and 40 amu are reproduced fairly well by the model within a factor of two inside the ionopause. We have presented simple formulae for calculating densities of the nine major ions, which contribute to the nine major peaks in the IMS spectra, throughout the inner coma that will be useful in estimating their densities without running the complex chemical models.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Comets; Halley; Ionospheres; Abundances; Atmospheres; Photochemistry
ID Code:2437
Deposited On:07 Oct 2010 11:05
Last Modified:17 May 2011 06:17

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