The composition and plasma signature of a large dust impact on the giotto spacecraft

Goldstein, R. and Goldstein, B.E. and Balsiger, H. and Coates, A.J. and Curdt, W. and Keller, H.U. and Neubauer, F.M. and Perry, C. and Zarnecki, John C. (1991) The composition and plasma signature of a large dust impact on the giotto spacecraft. Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, 96 (A8). pp. 13739-13747. ISSN 0148-0227. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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At about 14,800 km from the comet Halley nucleus, on the inbound leg, at least six of the sensors onboard the Giotto spacecraft observed an unusual, brief (approximately 30 to 500 ms) event: The ion mass spectrometer data show a brief flow of energetic (up to several hundred electron volts) plasma consisting of protons, water group, and heavier ions. The Johnstone plasma analyzer data show a short burst of plasma, while the dust impact detector system data show an impact event in four of its detectors. The magnetometer signature of the event shows two brief dips in the field. The sudden change in the spacecraft attitude and spin rate observed by the camera at that same time has been interpreted as the result of a large (greater-than-or-equal-to 5 mg) dust particle impact on the front bumper shield of the spacecraft. In addition, at about the same time the spacecraft star-tracker suffered damage. Here we give the first report combining direct measurements of the composition and dynamics of a dust impact plasma cloud, the dust particle mass and the location of the impact on the spacecraft. Analysis of the data indicate that the impacting particle was water or ice-bearing, possibly loosely compacted, and was composed of one or more of: carbon, nitrogen, and silicon.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: O.O. Odanye
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2009 10:12
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 15:42
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