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- We present an initial overview of the disconnection events (DE's) in Comet Halley in 1986. Although disconnection events are arguably the most spectacular of all dynamic comet phenomena, the mechanisms by which they occur are not fully understood. It is generally believed that the solar wind plays a major role in determining when disconnection events occur, but the details of the solar wind/cometary interactions responsible for initiating the tail disconnection are still under debate. The three most widely accepted models are: (1) high speed streams in the solar wind cause the tail to disconnect due to pressure effects; (2) decreased production of cometary ions in a high speed stream allows magnetic field to slip away from the comet; and (3) the tail disconnects after frontside reconnection of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) as the comet crosses a magnetic field sector boundary. We find that the front-side magnetic reconnection model is the best explanation for the DE's we have considered.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19930009945.
Accession ID: 93N19134.
Lunar and Planetary Inst., Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991; p 93-96.
- No Copyright.
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