Cometary ions detected by the Cassini spacecraft 6.5 au downstream of Comet 153P/Ikeya-Zhang. (arXiv:2006.00500v1 [astro-ph.EP])

Cometary ions detected by the Cassini spacecraft 6.5 au downstream of Comet 153P/Ikeya-Zhang. (arXiv:2006.00500v1 [astro-ph.EP])
<a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Jones_G/0/1/0/all/0/1">Geraint H. Jones</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Elliott_H/0/1/0/all/0/1">Heather A. Elliott</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+McComas_D/0/1/0/all/0/1">David J. McComas</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Hill_M/0/1/0/all/0/1">Matthew E. Hill</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Vandegriff_J/0/1/0/all/0/1">Jon Vandegriff</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Smith_E/0/1/0/all/0/1">Edward J. Smith</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Crary_F/0/1/0/all/0/1">Frank J. Crary</a>, <a href="http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Waite_J/0/1/0/all/0/1">J. Hunter Waite</a>

During March-April 2002, while between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, the
Cassini spacecraft detected a significant enhancement in pickup proton flux.
The most likely explanation for this enhancement was the addition of protons to
the solar wind by the ionization of neutral hydrogen in the corona of comet
153P/Ikeya-Zhang. This comet passed relatively close to the Sun-Cassini line
during that period, allowing pickup ions to be carried to Cassini by the solar
wind. This pickup proton flux could have been further modulated by the passage
of the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections past the comet and
spacecraft. The radial distance of 6.5 Astronomical Units (au) traveled by the
pickup protons, and the implied total tail length of >7.5 au make this cometary
ion tail the longest yet measured.

During March-April 2002, while between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, the
Cassini spacecraft detected a significant enhancement in pickup proton flux.
The most likely explanation for this enhancement was the addition of protons to
the solar wind by the ionization of neutral hydrogen in the corona of comet
153P/Ikeya-Zhang. This comet passed relatively close to the Sun-Cassini line
during that period, allowing pickup ions to be carried to Cassini by the solar
wind. This pickup proton flux could have been further modulated by the passage
of the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections past the comet and
spacecraft. The radial distance of 6.5 Astronomical Units (au) traveled by the
pickup protons, and the implied total tail length of >7.5 au make this cometary
ion tail the longest yet measured.

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