Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Professor in Planetary Science



m.galand Website




Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

166 results found

De Keyser J, Edberg NJT, Henri P, Auster HU, Galand M, Rubin M, Nilsson H, Soucek J, André N, Corte VD, Rothkaehl H, Funase R, Kasahara S, Van Damme CCet al., 2024, In situ plasma and neutral gas observation time windows during a comet flyby: Application to the Comet Interceptor mission, Planetary and Space Science, Vol: 244, ISSN: 0032-0633

A comet flyby, like the one planned for ESA's Comet Interceptor mission, places stringent requirements on spacecraft resources. To plan the time line of in situ plasma and neutral gas observations during the flyby, the size of the comet magnetosphere and neutral coma must be estimated well. For given solar irradiance and solar wind conditions, comet composition, and neutral gas expansion speed, the size of gas coma and magnetosphere during the flyby can be estimated from the gas production rate and the flyby geometry. Combined with flyby velocity, the time spent in these regions can be inferred and a data acquisition plan can be elaborated for each instrument, compatible with the limited data storage capacity. The sizes of magnetosphere and gas coma are found from a statistical analysis based on the probability distributions of gas production rate, flyby velocity, and solar wind conditions. The size of the magnetosphere as measured by bow shock standoff distance is 105–106 km near 1 au in the unlikely case of a Halley-type target comet, down to a nonexistent bow shock for targets with low activity. This translates into durations up to 103–104 seconds. These estimates can be narrowed down when a target is identified far from the Sun, and even more so as its activity can be predicted more reliably closer to the Sun. Plasma and neutral gas instruments on the Comet Interceptor main spacecraft can monitor the entire flyby by using an adaptive data acquisition strategy in the context of a record-and-playback scenario. For probes released from the main spacecraft, the inter-satellite communication link limits the data return. For a slow flyby of an active comet, the probes may not yet be released during the inbound bow shock crossing.

Journal article

Lewis ZM, Beth A, Galand M, Henri P, Rubin M, Stephenson Pet al., 2024, Constraining ion transport in the diamagnetic cavity of comet 67P, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol: 530, Pages: 66-81, ISSN: 0035-8711

The European Space Agency Rosetta mission escorted comet 67P for a 2-yr section of its six and a half-year orbit around the Sun. By perihelion in 2015 August, the neutral and plasma data obtained by the spacecraft instruments showed the comet had transitioned to a dynamic object with large-scale plasma structures and a rich ion environment. One such plasma structure is the diamagnetic cavity: a magnetic field-free region formed by interaction between the unmagnetized cometary plasma and the impinging solar wind. Within this re gion, une xpectedly high ion bulk velocities have been observed, thought to have been accelerated by an ambipolar electric field. We hav e dev eloped a 1D numerical model of the cometary ionosphere to constrain the impact of various electric field profiles on the ionospheric density profile and ion composition. In the model, we include three ion species: H 2 O + , H 3 O + , and NH + 4 . The latter, not previously considered in ionospheric models including acceleration, is produced through the protonation of NH 3 and only lost through ion-electron dissociative recombination, and thus particularly sensitive to the time-scale of plasma loss through transport. We also assess the importance of including momentum transfer when assessing ion composition and densities in the presence of an electric field. By comparing simulated electron densities to Rosetta Plasma Consortium data sets, we find that to recreate the plasma densities measured inside the diamagnetic cavity near perihelion, the model requires an electric field proportional to r -1 of around 0.5-2 mV m -1 surface strength, leading to bulk ion speeds at Rosetta of 1.2-3.0 km s -1 .

Journal article

Stephenson P, Galand M, Deca J, Henri Pet al., 2024, Cold electrons at a weakly outgassing comet, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol: 529, Pages: 2854-2865, ISSN: 0035-8711

Throughout the Rosetta mission, cold electrons (<1 eV) were measured in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Cometary electrons are produced at ∼10 eV through photoionization or through electron-impact ionization collisions. The cold electron population is formed by cooling the warm population through inelastic electron–neutral collisions. Assuming radial electron outflow, electrons are collisional with the neutral gas coma below the electron exobase, which only formed above the comet surface in near-perihelion high-outgassing conditions (Q > 3 × 1027 s−1). However, the cold population was identified at low outgassing (Q < 1026 s−1), when the inner coma was not expected to be collisional. We examine cooling of electrons at a weakly outgassing comet, using a 3D collisional model of electrons at a comet. Electron paths are extended by trapping in an ambipolar electric field and by gyration around magnetic field lines. This increases the probability of electrons undergoing inelastic collisions with the coma and becoming cold. We demonstrate that a cold electron population can be formed and sustained, under weak outgassing conditions (Q = 1026 s−1), once 3D electron dynamics are accounted for. Cold electrons are produced in the inner coma through electron–neutral collisions and transported tailwards by an E × B drift We quantify the efficiency of trapping in driving electron cooling, with trajectories typically 100 times longer than expected from ballistic radial outflow. Based on collisional simulations, we define an estimate for a region where a cold electron population can form, bounded by an electron cooling exobase. This estimate agrees well with cold electron measurements from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium.

Journal article

Galand M, 2024, Far Ultraviolet atomic emissions at comet 67P: What have we learned?&amp;#160;

<jats:p>Auroral emissions have been observed throughout the Solar System. They are the photo-manifestation of the interaction of energetic, extra-atmospheric particles (typically electrons or ions) with an atmosphere. As the source of energy comes from the space environment (e.g., solar wind or magnetosphere if applicable), the auroral emissions are a tracer of plasma bombardments in an atmosphere. They are also a fingerprint of plasma source and atmospheric species. They are an invaluable, remote-sensing probe of plasma interaction in the Solar System.Through a multi-instrument analysis of gas, particle and spectroscopic dataset from Rosetta, we have established that the atomic emissions observed in the coma of comet 67P at large heliocentric distances (&gt; 2 astronomical units) are of auroral origin [Galand et al., Nature Astronomy,, 2020; Stephenson et al.., A&amp;amp;A,, 2021]. We will discuss the source of the energetic particles responsible for the Far UltraViolet (FUV) emissions and will highlight the relevance of observing some of them from Earth. We will contrast these emissions with those observed at comets in the soft X-rays and extreme ultraviolet and with the FUV emissions observed at Earth, Mars and Ganymede.</jats:p>


Beth A, Galand M, Modolo R, Leblanc F, Jia X, Huybrighs H, Carnielli Get al., 2024, Ionospheric environment of Ganymede during the Galileo flybys

<jats:p>The Galileo spacecraft flew by Ganymede, down to 0.1 RG from the surface for the closest, six times giving us insight into its plasma environment. Its ionosphere, made of ions born from the ionisation of neutrals present in Ganymede&amp;#8217;s exosphere, represents the bulk of the plasma near the moon around closest approach. As it has been revealed by Galileo and Juno, near closest approach the ion population is dominated by low-energy ions from the water ion group (O+, HO+, H2O+) and O2+. However, little is known about their density, spatial distribution, and effect on the surface weathering of the moon itself. Galileo G2 flyby has been extensively studied. Based on a comparison between observations and 3D test-particle simulations, Carnielli et al. (2020a and 2020b) confirmed the ion composition (debated at the time), highlighted the inconsistency between the assumed exospheric densities and the observed ionospheric densities, and derived the contribution of ionospheric ions as an exospheric source. However, other flybys of Ganymede are also available (e.g. G1, G7, G8, G28, and G29) providing in-situ measurements at different phases of Ganymede around Jupiter or jovian magnetospheric conditions at the moon. We extend the original study by Carnielli et al. to other flybys, and compare our modelled ion moments (ion number density, velocity, and energy distribution) with Galileo in-situ data. We discuss our results and contrast them with those obtained for the G2 flyby.&amp;#160;&amp;#160;</jats:p>


Lewis Z, Beth A, Galand M, Henri P, Rubin M, Stephenson Pet al., 2024, Constraining ion transport in the diamagnetic cavity of comet 67P

<jats:p>Comets are small icy bodies originating from the outer solar system that produce an increasingly dense gas coma through sublimation as they approach perihelion. Photoionisation of this gas results in a cometary ionosphere, which interacts with the impinging solar wind, leading to large scale plasma structures. One such structure is the diamagnetic cavity: the magnetic field-free inner region that the solar wind cannot penetrate. This region was encountered many times by the ESA Rosetta mission, which escorted comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for a two-year section of its orbit.Within the diamagnetic cavity, high ion bulk velocities have been observed by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) instruments. The fast ions are thought to have been accelerated by an ambipolar electric field, but the nature and strength of this field are difficult to determine analytically. Our study therefore aims to model the impact of various electric field profiles on the ionospheric density profile and ion composition. The 1D numerical model we have developed includes three key ion species (H2O+, H3O+, and NH4+) in order to assess the sensitivity of each to the timescale of plasma loss through transport. NH4+ is of particular interest, as it has been previously shown to be the dominant ion species at low cometocentric distances near perihelion. It is only produced through the protonation of NH3, a minor component of the neutral gas, and we show that this makes it particularly sensitive to the electric field.We also compare the simulated electron density to RPC datasets, to find the electric field strength and profile which best recreate the plasma densities measured inside the diamagnetic cavity near perihelion. From this, we also constrain the radial bulk ion speed that is required to explain the observations with the model.</jats:p>


Jones GH, Snodgrass C, Tubiana C, Küppers M, Kawakita H, Lara LM, Agarwal J, André N, Attree N, Auster U, Bagnulo S, Bannister M, Beth A, Bowles N, Coates A, Colangeli L, Corral van Damme C, Da Deppo V, De Keyser J, Della Corte V, Edberg N, El-Maarry MR, Faggi S, Fulle M, Funase R, Galand M, Goetz C, Groussin O, Guilbert-Lepoutre A, Henri P, Kasahara S, Kereszturi A, Kidger M, Knight M, Kokotanekova R, Kolmasova I, Kossacki K, Kührt E, Kwon Y, La Forgia F, Levasseur-Regourd A-C, Lippi M, Longobardo A, Marschall R, Morawski M, Muñoz O, Näsilä A, Nilsson H, Opitom C, Pajusalu M, Pommerol A, Prech L, Rando N, Ratti F, Rothkaehl H, Rotundi A, Rubin M, Sakatani N, Sánchez JP, Simon Wedlund C, Stankov A, Thomas N, Toth I, Villanueva G, Vincent J-B, Volwerk M, Wurz P, Wielders A, Yoshioka K, Aleksiejuk K, Alvarez F, Amoros C, Aslam S, Atamaniuk B, Baran J, Barciński T, Beck T, Behnke T, Berglund M, Bertini I, Bieda M, Binczyk P, Busch M-D, Cacovean A, Capria MT, Carr C, Castro Marín JM, Ceriotti M, Chioetto P, Chuchra-Konrad A, Cocola L, Colin F, Crews C, Cripps V, Cupido E, Dassatti A, Davidsson BJR, De Roche T, Deca J, Del Togno S, Dhooghe F, Donaldson Hanna K, Eriksson A, Fedorov A, Fernández-Valenzuela E, Ferretti S, Floriot J, Frassetto F, Fredriksson J, Garnier P, Gaweł D, Génot V, Gerber T, Glassmeier K-H, Granvik M, Grison B, Gunell H, Hachemi T, Hagen C, Hajra R, Harada Y, Hasiba J, Haslebacher N, Herranz De La Revilla ML, Hestroffer D, Hewagama T, Holt C, Hviid S, Iakubivskyi I, Inno L, Irwin P, Ivanovski S, Jansky J, Jernej I, Jeszenszky H, Jimenéz J, Jorda L, Kama M, Kameda S, Kelley MSP, Klepacki K, Kohout T, Kojima H, Kowalski T, Kuwabara M, Ladno M, Laky G, Lammer H, Lan R, Lavraud B, Lazzarin M, Le Duff O, Lee Q-M, Lesniak C, Lewis Z, Lin Z-Y, Lister T, Lowry S, Magnes W, Markkanen J, Martinez Navajas I, Martins Z, Matsuoka A, Matyjasiak B, Mazelle C, Mazzotta Epifani E, Meier M, Michaelis H, Micheli M, Migliorini A, Millet A-L, Moreno F, Mottola S, Moutounet al., 2024, The Comet Interceptor Mission., Space Sci Rev, Vol: 220, ISSN: 0038-6308

Here we describe the novel, multi-point Comet Interceptor mission. It is dedicated to the exploration of a little-processed long-period comet, possibly entering the inner Solar System for the first time, or to encounter an interstellar object originating at another star. The objectives of the mission are to address the following questions: What are the surface composition, shape, morphology, and structure of the target object? What is the composition of the gas and dust in the coma, its connection to the nucleus, and the nature of its interaction with the solar wind? The mission was proposed to the European Space Agency in 2018, and formally adopted by the agency in June 2022, for launch in 2029 together with the Ariel mission. Comet Interceptor will take advantage of the opportunity presented by ESA's F-Class call for fast, flexible, low-cost missions to which it was proposed. The call required a launch to a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 point. The mission can take advantage of this placement to wait for the discovery of a suitable comet reachable with its minimum ΔV capability of 600 ms-1. Comet Interceptor will be unique in encountering and studying, at a nominal closest approach distance of 1000 km, a comet that represents a near-pristine sample of material from the formation of the Solar System. It will also add a capability that no previous cometary mission has had, which is to deploy two sub-probes - B1, provided by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, and B2 - that will follow different trajectories through the coma. While the main probe passes at a nominal 1000 km distance, probes B1 and B2 will follow different chords through the coma at distances of 850 km and 400 km, respectively. The result will be unique, simultaneous, spatially resolved information of the 3-dimensional properties of the target comet and its interaction with the space environment. We present the mission's science background leading to these objectives, a

Journal article

Stephenson P, Beth A, Deca J, Galand M, Goetz C, Henri P, Heritier K, Lewis Z, Moeslinger A, Nilsson H, Rubin Met al., 2023, The source of electrons at comet 67P, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol: 525, Pages: 5041-5065, ISSN: 0035-8711

We examine the origin of electrons in a weakly outgassing comet, using Rosetta mission data and a 3D collisional model of electrons at a comet. We have calculated a new data set of electron-impact ionization (EII) frequency throughout the Rosetta escort phase, with measurements of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium’s Ion and Electron Sensor (RPC/IES). The EII frequency is evaluated in 15-min intervals and compared to other Rosetta data sets. EII is the dominant source of electrons at 67P away from perihelion and is highly variable (by up to three orders of magnitude). Around perihelion, EII is much less variable and less efficient than photoionization at Rosetta. Several drivers of the EII frequency are identified, including magnetic field strength and the outgassing rate. Energetic electrons are correlated to the Rosetta-upstream solar wind potential difference, confirming that the ionizing electrons are solar wind electrons accelerated by an ambipolar field. The collisional test particle model incorporates a spherically symmetric, pure water coma and all the relevant electron-neutral collision processes. Electric and magnetic fields are stationary model inputs, and are computed using a fully kinetic, collision-less Particle-in-Cell simulation. Collisional electrons are modelled at outgassing rates of Q = 1026 s−1 and Q = 1.5 × 1027 s−1. Secondary electrons are the dominant population within a weakly outgassing comet. These are produced by collisions of solar wind electrons with the neutral coma. The implications of large ion flow speed estimates at Rosetta, away from perihelion, are discussed in relation to multi-instrument studies and the new results of the EII frequency obtained in this study.

Journal article

Fletcher LN, Cavalié T, Grassi D, Hueso R, Lara LM, Kaspi Y, Galanti E, Greathouse TK, Molyneux PM, Galand M, Vallat C, Witasse O, Lorente R, Hartogh P, Poulet F, Langevin Y, Palumbo P, Gladstone GR, Retherford KD, Dougherty MK, Wahlund J-E, Barabash S, Iess L, Bruzzone L, Hussmann H, Gurvits LI, Santolik O, Kolmasova I, Fischer G, Müller-Wodarg I, Piccioni G, Fouchet T, Gérard J-C, Sánchez-Lavega A, Irwin PGJ, Grodent D, Altieri F, Mura A, Drossart P, Kammer J, Giles R, Cazaux S, Jones G, Smirnova M, Lellouch E, Medvedev AS, Moreno R, Rezac L, Coustenis A, Costa Met al., 2023, Jupiter science Enabled by ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Space Science Reviews, Vol: 219, ISSN: 0038-6308

ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will provide a detailed investigation of the Jovian system in the 2030s, combining a suite of state-of-the-art instruments with an orbital tour tailored to maximise observing opportunities. We review the Jupiter science enabled by the JUICE mission, building on the legacy of discoveries from the Galileo, Cassini, and Juno missions, alongside ground- and space-based observatories. We focus on remote sensing of the climate, meteorology, and chemistry of the atmosphere and auroras from the cloud-forming weather layer, through the upper troposphere, into the stratosphere and ionosphere. The Jupiter orbital tour provides a wealth of opportunities for atmospheric and auroral science: global perspectives with its near-equatorial and inclined phases, sampling all phase angles from dayside to nightside, and investigating phenomena evolving on timescales from minutes to months. The remote sensing payload spans far-UV spectroscopy (50-210 nm), visible imaging (340-1080 nm), visible/near-infrared spectroscopy (0.49-5.56 μm), and sub-millimetre sounding (near 530-625 GHz and 1067-1275 GHz). This is coupled to radio, stellar, and solar occultation opportunities to explore the atmosphere at high vertical resolution; and radio and plasma wave measurements of electric discharges in the Jovian atmosphere and auroras. Cross-disciplinary scientific investigations enable JUICE to explore coupling processes in giant planet atmospheres, to show how the atmosphere is connected to (i) the deep circulation and composition of the hydrogen-dominated interior; and (ii) to the currents and charged particle environments of the external magnetosphere. JUICE will provide a comprehensive characterisation of the atmosphere and auroras of this archetypal giant planet.

Journal article

Lewis ZM, Beth A, Altwegg K, Galand M, Goetz C, Heritier K, ORourke L, Rubin M, Stephenson Pet al., 2023, Origin and trends in NH4+ observed in the coma of 67P, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol: 523, Pages: 6208-6219, ISSN: 0035-8711

The European Space Agency/Rosetta mission escorted comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and witnessed the evolution of its coma from low activity (∼2.5–3.8 au) to rich ion-neutral chemistry (∼1.2–2.0 au). We present an analysis of the ion composition in the coma, focusing on the presence of protonated high proton affinity (HPA) species, in particular NH4+⁠. This ion is produced through the protonation of NH3 and is an indicator of the level of ion-neutral chemistry in the coma. We aim to assess the importance of this process compared with other NH4+ sources, such as the dissociation of ammonium salts embedded in dust grains. The analysis of NH4+ has been possible thanks to the high mass resolution of the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis/Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (ROSINA/DFMS). In this work, we examine the NH4+ data set alongside data from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium instruments, and against outputs from our in-house ionospheric model. We show that increased comet outgassing around perihelion yields more detections of NH4+ and other protonated HPA species, which results from more complex ion-neutral chemistry occurring in the coma. We also reveal a link between the low magnetic field strength associated with the diamagnetic cavity and higher NH4+ counts. This suggests that transport inside and outside the diamagnetic cavity is very different, which is consistent with 3D hybrid simulations of the coma: non-radial plasma dynamics outside the diamagnetic cavity is an important factor affecting the ion composition.

Journal article

Leblanc F, Roth L, Chaufray JY, Modolo R, Galand M, Ivchenko N, Carnielli G, Baskevitch C, Oza A, Werner ALEet al., 2023, Ganymede's atmosphere as constrained by HST/STIS observations, Icarus, Vol: 399, ISSN: 0019-1035

A new analysis of aurora observations of Ganymede's atmosphere on the orbital leading and trailing hemispheres has been recently published by Roth et al. (2021), suggesting that water is its main constituent near noon. Here, we present two additional aurora observations of Ganymede's sub-Jovian and anti-Jovian hemispheres, which suggest a modulation of the atmospheric H2O/O2 ratio on the moon's orbital period, and analyze the orbital evolution of the atmosphere. For this, we propose a reconstruction of aurora observations based on a physical modelling of the exosphere taking into account its orbital variability (the Exospheric Global Model; Leblanc et al., 2017). The solution described in this paper agrees with Roth et al. (2021) that Ganymede's exosphere should be dominantly composed of water molecules. From Ganymede's position when its leading hemisphere is illuminated to when it is its trailing hemisphere, the column density of O2 may vary between 4.3 × 1014 and 3.6 × 1014 cm−2 whereas the H2O column density should vary between 5.6 × 1014 and 1.3 × 1015 cm−2. The water content of Ganymede's atmosphere is essentially constrained by its sublimation rate whereas the O2 component of Ganymede's atmosphere is controlled by the radiolytic yield. The other species, products of the water molecules, vary in a more complex way depending on their sources, either as ejecta from the surface and/or as product of the dissociation of the other atmospheric constituents. Electron impact on H2O and H2 molecules is shown to likely produce H Lyman-alpha emissions close to Ganymede, in addition to the observed extended Lyman-alpha corona from H resonant scattering. All these conclusions being highly dependent on our capability to accurately model the origins of the observed Ganymede auroral emissions, modelling these emissions remains poorly constrained without an accurate knowledge of the Jovian magnetospheric and Ganymede ionospheric electron popul

Journal article

Moses JI, Brown ZL, Koskinen TT, Fletcher LN, Serigano J, Guerlet S, Moore L, Waite JH, Ben-Jaffel L, Galand M, Chadney JM, Hörst SM, Sinclair JA, Vuitton V, Müller-Wodarg Iet al., 2023, Saturn’s atmospheric response to the large influx of ring material inferred from Cassini INMS measurements, Icarus, Vol: 391, Pages: 1-40, ISSN: 0019-1035

During the Grand Finale stage of the Cassini mission, organic-rich ring material was discovered to be flowing into Saturn’s equatorial upper atmosphere at a surprisingly large rate. Through a series of photochemical models, we have examined the consequences of this ring material on the chemistry of Saturn’s neutral and ionized atmosphere. We find that if a substantial fraction of this material enters the atmosphere as vapor or becomes vaporized as the solid ring particles ablate upon atmospheric entry, then the ring-derived vapor would strongly affect the composition of Saturn’s ionosphere and neutral stratosphere. Our surveys of Cassini infrared and ultraviolet remote-sensing data from the final few years of the mission, however, reveal none of these predicted chemical consequences. We therefore conclude that either (1) the inferred ring influx represents an anomalous, transient situation that was triggered by some recent dynamical event in the ring system that occurred a few months to a few tens of years before the 2017 end of the Cassini mission, or (2) a large fraction of the incoming material must have been entering the atmosphere as small dust particles less than 100 nm in radius, rather than as vapor or as large particles that are likely to ablate. Future observations or upper limits for stratospheric neutral species such as HCN, HCN, and CO at infrared wavelengths could shed light on the origin, timing, magnitude, and nature of a possible vapor-rich ring-inflow event.

Journal article

Bockelée-Morvan D, Filacchione G, Altwegg K, Bianchi E, Bizzarro M, Blum J, Bonal L, Capaccioni F, Choukroun M, Codella C, Cottin H, Davidsson B, De Sanctis MC, Drozdovskaya MN, Engrand C, Galand M, Güttler C, Henri P, Herique A, Ivanovski S, Kokotanekova R, Levasseur-Regourd A-C, Miller KE, Rotundi A, Schönbächler M, Snodgrass C, Thomas N, Tubiana C, Ulamec S, Vincent J-Bet al., 2022, AMBITION – comet nucleus cryogenic sample return, Experimental Astronomy, Vol: 54, Pages: 1077-1128, ISSN: 0922-6435

We describe the AMBITION project, a mission to return the first-ever cryogenicallystored sample of a cometary nucleus, that has been proposed for the ESA ScienceProgramme Voyage 2050. Comets are the leftover building blocks of giant planetcores and other planetary bodies, and fingerprints of Solar System’s formation processes. We summarise some of the most important questions still open in cometaryscience and Solar System formation after the successful Rosetta mission. We showthat many of these scientific questions require sample analysis using techniques thatare only possible in laboratories on Earth. We summarize measurements, instrumentation and mission scenarios that can address these questions. We emphasize the needfor returning a sample collected at depth or, still more challenging, at cryogenic temperatures while preserving the stratigraphy of the comet nucleus surface layers. Weprovide requirements for the next generation of landers, for cryogenic sample acquisition and storage during the return to Earth. Rendezvous missions to the main beltcomets and Centaurs, expanding our knowledge by exploring new classes of comets,are also discussed. The AMBITION project is discussed in the international contextof comet and asteroid space exploration.

Journal article

Goetz C, Gunell H, Volwerk M, Beth A, Eriksson A, Galand M, Henri P, Nilsson H, Wedlund CS, Alho M, Andersson L, Andre N, De Keyser J, Deca J, Ge Y, Glassmeier K-H, Hajra R, Karlsson T, Kasahara S, Kolmasova I, LLera K, Madanian H, Mann I, Mazelle C, Odelstad E, Plaschke F, Rubin M, Sanchez-Cano B, Snodgrass C, Vigren Eet al., 2022, Cometary plasma science Open science questions for future space missions, Experimental Astronomy: an international journal on astronomical instrumentation and data analysis, Vol: 54, Pages: 1129-1167, ISSN: 0922-6435

Comets hold the key to the understanding of our Solar System, its formation and its evolution, and to the fundamental plasma processes at work both in it and beyond it. A comet nucleus emits gas as it is heated by the sunlight. The gas forms the coma, where it is ionised, becomes a plasma, and eventually interacts with the solar wind. Besides these neutral and ionised gases, the coma also contains dust grains, released from the comet nucleus. As a cometary atmosphere develops when the comet travels through the Solar System, large-scale structures, such as the plasma boundaries, develop and disappear, while at planets such large-scale structures are only accessible in their fully grown, quasi-steady state. In situ measurements at comets enable us to learn both how such large-scale structures are formed or reformed and how small-scale processes in the plasma affect the formation and properties of these large scale structures. Furthermore, a comet goes through a wide range of parameter regimes during its life cycle, where either collisional processes, involving neutrals and charged particles, or collisionless processes are at play, and might even compete in complicated transitional regimes. Thus a comet presents a unique opportunity to study this parameter space, from an asteroid-like to a Mars- and Venus-like interaction. The Rosetta mission and previous fast flybys of comets have together made many new discoveries, but the most important breakthroughs in the understanding of cometary plasmas are yet to come. The Comet Interceptor mission will provide a sample of multi-point measurements at a comet, setting the stage for a multi-spacecraft mission to accompany a comet on its journey through the Solar System. This White Paper, submitted in response to the European Space Agency’s Voyage 2050 call, reviews the present-day knowledge of cometary plasmas, discusses the many questions that remain unanswered, and outlines a multi-spacecraft European Space Agency mission

Journal article

Rodriguez S, Vinatier S, Cordier D, Tobie G, Achterberg RK, Anderson CM, Badman SV, Barnes JW, Barth EL, Bézard B, Carrasco N, Charnay B, Clark RN, Coll P, Cornet T, Coustenis A, Couturier-Tamburelli I, Dobrijevic M, Flasar FM, Kok RD, Freissinet C, Galand M, Gautier T, Geppert WD, Griffith CA, Gudipati MS, Hadid LZ, Hayes AG, Hendrix AR, Jauman R, Jennings DE, Jolly A, Kalousova K, Koskinen TT, Lavvas P, Lebonnois S, Lebreton J-P, Gall AL, Lellouch E, Mouélic SL, Lopes RMC, Lora JM, Lorenz RD, Lucas A, MacKenzie S, Malaska MJ, Mandt K, Mastrogiuseppe M, Newman CE, Nixon CA, Radebaugh J, Rafkin SC, Rannou P, Sciamma-O-Brien EM, Soderblom JM, Solomonidou A, Sotin C, Stephan K, Strobel D, Szopa C, Teanby NA, Turtle EP, Vuitton V, West RAet al., 2022, Science goals and new mission concepts for future exploration of Titan's atmosphere geology and habitability: Titan POlar Scout/orbitEr and In situ lake lander and DrONe explorer (POSEIDON), Experimental Astronomy: an international journal on astronomical instrumentation and data analysis, Vol: 54, Pages: 911-973, ISSN: 0922-6435

In response to ESA’s “Voyage 2050” announcement of opportunity, we propose an ambitious L-class mission to explore one of the most exciting bodies in the Solar System, Saturn’s largest moon Titan. Titan, a “world with two oceans”, is an organic-rich body with interior-surface-atmosphere interactions that are comparable in complexity to the Earth. Titan is also one of the few places in the Solar System with habitability potential. Titan’s remarkable nature was only partly revealed by the Cassini-Huygens mission and still holds mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. The proposed mission concept POSEIDON (Titan POlar Scout/orbitEr and In situ lake lander DrONe explorer) would perform joint orbital and in situ investigations of Titan. It is designed to build on and exceed the scope and scientific/technological accomplishments of Cassini-Huygens, exploring Titan in ways that were not previously possible, in particular through full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time. In the proposed mission architecture, POSEIDON consists of two major elements: a spacecraft with a large set of instruments that would orbit Titan, preferably in a low-eccentricity polar orbit, and a suite of in situ investigation components, i.e. a lake lander, a “heavy” drone (possibly amphibious) and/or a fleet of mini-drones, dedicated to the exploration of the polar regions. The ideal arrival time at Titan would be slightly before the next northern Spring equinox (2039), as equinoxes are the most active periods to monitor still largely unknown atmospheric and surface seasonal changes. The exploration of Titan’s northern latitudes with an orbiter and in situ element(s) would be highly complementary in terms of timing (with possible mission timing overlap), locations, and science goals with the upcoming NASA New Frontiers Dragonfly mission that will provide in situ exploration o

Journal article

Goetz C, Behar E, Beth A, Bodewits D, Bromley S, Burch J, Deca J, Divin A, Eriksson AI, Feldman PD, Galand M, Gunell H, Henri P, Heritier K, Jones GH, Mandt KE, Nilsson H, Noonan JW, Odelstad E, Parker JW, Rubin M, Simon Wedlund C, Stephenson P, Taylor MGGT, Vigren E, Vines SK, Volwerk Met al., 2022, The plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Space Science Reviews, Vol: 218, Pages: 1-120, ISSN: 0038-6308

The environment of a comet is a fascinating and unique laboratory to study plasma processes and the formation of structures such as shocks and discontinuities from electron scales to ion scales and above. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission collected data for more than two years, from the rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014 until the final touch-down of the spacecraft end of September 2016. This escort phase spanned a large arc of the comet’s orbit around the Sun, including its perihelion and corresponding to heliocentric distances between 3.8 AU and 1.24 AU. The length of the active mission together with this span in heliocentric and cometocentric distances make the Rosetta data set unique and much richer than sets obtained with previous cometary probes. Here, we review the results from the Rosetta mission that pertain to the plasma environment. We detail all known sources and losses of the plasma and typical processes within it. The findings from in-situ plasma measurements are complemented by remote observations of emissions from the plasma. Overviews of the methods and instruments used in the study are given as well as a short review of the Rosetta mission. The long duration of the Rosetta mission provides the opportunity to better understand how the importance of these processes changes depending on parameters like the outgassing rate and the solar wind conditions. We discuss how the shape and existence of large scale structures depend on these parameters and how the plasma within different regions of the plasma environment can be characterised. We end with a non-exhaustive list of still open questions, as well as suggestions on how to answer them in the future.

Journal article

Beth A, Galand M, Simon Wedlund C, Eriksson Aet al., 2022, Cometary Ionospheres: An Updated Tutorial, Comets III, Editors: Meech, Combi, Publisher: University of Arizona Press

This chapter aims at providing the tools and knowledge to understand and model the plasma environment surrounding comets in the innermost part near the nucleus. In particular, our goal is to give an updated post-Rosetta view of this ionised environment: what we knew, what we confirmed, what we overturned, and what we still do not understand.

Book chapter

Stephenson P, Galand M, Deca J, Henri Pet al., 2022, Cold electrons at a weakly outgassing comet, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Publisher: Copernicus GmbH

Conference paper

Stephenson P, Altwegg K, Beth A, Burch J, Carr C, Deca J, Eriksson A, Galand M, Glassmeier K-H, Goetz C, Henri P, Heritier K, Johansson F, Lewis Z, Nilsson H, Rubin Met al., 2022, The source of electrons at a weakly outgassing comet, Publisher: Copernicus GmbH

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The Rosetta spacecraft escorted comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for two years along its orbit, from Aug 2014 to Sep 2016, observing the evolution of the comet from a close perspective. The Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) monitored the plasma environment at the spacecraft throughout the escort phase.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;Cometary electrons are produced by ionization of the neutral gas coma. This occurs through photoionization by extreme ultraviolet photons, and through electron-impact ionization (EII) by collisions of energetic electrons with the coma. Far from perihelion, EII is, at times, more prevalent than photoionization (Galand et al., 2016; Heritier et al., 2018), but the EII frequency has not been assessed across the whole mission. The source of the cometary electrons, and the origin of the ionizing electrons is still unclear.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;We have calculated the electron impact ionization (EII) frequency throughout the Rosetta mission and at its location from measurements of RPC&amp;amp;#8217;s Ion and Electron Sensor (RPC/IES). EII ionization is confirmed as the dominant source of cometary electrons and ions when far from perihelion but is much more variable than photoionization. We compare the EII frequency with properties of the neutral coma and cometary plasma to identify key drivers of the energetic electron population. The EII frequency is structured by outgassing rate and magnetic field strength.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The first 3D collision model of electrons at a comet (Stephenson et al. 2022) is also utilised to assess the origin of electrons within the coma. The model uses self-consistently calculated electric and magnetic fields from a fully-kinetic and collisionless Particle-in-Cell model (Deca et al. 2017, 2019)as an input. The modelling approach confirms cometary electrons are produced by impacts of energetic e

Conference paper

Lewis Z, Beth A, Altwegg K, Eriksson A, Galand M, Götz C, Henri P, Héritier K, O'Rourke L, Richter I, Rubin M, Stephenson P, Vallieres Xet al., 2022, Ionospheric composition of comet 67P near perihelion with multi-instrument Rosetta datasets, Publisher: Copernicus GmbH

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The European Space Agency Rosetta mission escorted comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for two years, during which it acquired an extensive dataset, revealing unprecedented detail about the neutral and plasma environment of the coma. The measurements were made over a large range of heliocentric distances, and therefore of outgassing activities, as Rosetta witnessed 67P evolve from a low-activity icy body at 3.8 AU to a dynamic object with large-scale plasma structures and rich ion and neutral chemistry near perihelion at 1.2 AU. One such plasma structure is the diamagnetic cavity, a region of negligible magnetic field surrounding the comet nucleus. It is formed through the interaction of the unmagnetized outwardly expanding cometary plasma with the incoming solar wind. This region was encountered many times by Rosetta between April 2015 and February 2016, as the comet moved towards and away from perihelion.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;In this study, we focus on the changing role of chemistry during the escort phase, particularly on trends in the detection of high proton affinity species near perihelion and within the diamagnetic cavity. NH&amp;lt;sub&amp;gt;4&amp;lt;/sub&amp;gt;&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;+&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt; is produced through the protonation of NH&amp;lt;sub&amp;gt;3&amp;lt;/sub&amp;gt; which has the highest proton affinity of the neutral species and is therefore the terminal ion. The ratio of this species to the major ion species H&amp;lt;sub&amp;gt;3&amp;lt;/sub&amp;gt;O&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;+&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt; can then be an indicator of the importance of ion-neutral chemistry as an ion loss process compared to transport. We use data from the high resolution mode of the ROSINA (Rosetta Orbital Spectrometer for Ion-Neutral Analysis)/DFMS (Double Focussing Mass Spectrometer) instrument, which allows certain ions of the

Conference paper

Deca J, Stephenson P, Divin A, Henri P, Galand Met al., 2022, A Fully Kinetic Perspective on Weakly Active Comets: Symmetric versus Asymmetric Outgassing, Publisher: Copernicus GmbH

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;For more than two years, ESA&amp;amp;#8217;s Rosetta mission measured the complex and ever-evolving plasma environment surrounding comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In this work, we explore the structure and dynamics of the near-comet plasma environment at steady state, comparing directly the results of a spherically symmetric Haser model and an asymmetric outgassing profile based on the measurements from the ROSINA instrument onboard Rosetta during 67P&amp;amp;#8217;s weakly outgassing stages. Using a fully kinetic semi-implicit particle-in-cell code, we are able to characterise (1) the various ion and electron populations and their interactions, and (2) the implications to the mass-loading process caused by taking into account asymmetric outgassing. Our model complements observations by providing a full 3D picture that is directly relevant to help interpret the measurements made by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium instruments. In addition, understanding such details better is key to help disentangle the physical drivers active in the plasma environment of comets visited by future exploration missions.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;</jats:p>

Conference paper

Stephenson P, Galand M, Deca J, Henri P, Carnielli Get al., 2022, A collisional test particle model of electrons at a comet, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol: 511, Pages: 4090-4108, ISSN: 0035-8711

We have developed the first 3D collisional model of electrons at a comet, which we use to examine the impact of electron-neutral collisions in the weakly outgassing regime. The test-particle Monte Carlo model uses electric and magnetic fields from a fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell (PiC) model as an input. In our model, electrons originate from the solar wind or from ionization of the neutral coma, either by electron impact or absorption of an extreme ultraviolet photon. All relevant electron-neutral collision processes are included in the model including elastic scattering, excitation, and ionization. Trajectories of electrons are validated against analytically known drifts and the stochastic energy degradation used in the model is compared to the continuous slowing down approximation. Macroscopic properties of the solar wind and cometary electron populations, such as density and temperature, are validated with simple known cases and via comparison with the collisionless PiC model. We demonstrate that electrons are trapped close to the nucleus by the ambipolar electric field, causing an increase in the efficiency of electron-neutral collisions. Even at a low-outgassing rate (Q = 1026 s−1), electron-neutral collisions are shown to cause significant cooling in the coma. The model also provides a multistep numerical framework that is used to assess the influence of the electron-to-ion mass ratio, enabling access to electron dynamics with a physical electron mass.

Journal article

Chadney JM, Koskinen TT, Hu X, Galand M, Lavvas P, Unruh Y, Serigano J, Hörst SM, Yelle RVet al., 2022, Energy deposition in Saturn's equatorial upper atmosphere, Icarus, Vol: 372, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0019-1035

We construct Saturn equatorial neutral temperature and density profiles of H, H2, He, and CH4, between 10−12 and 1 bar using measurements from Cassini’s Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) taken during the spacecraft’s final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on 15 September 2017, combined with previous deeper atmospheric measurements from the Cassini Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS) and from the UltraViolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS). These neutral profiles are fed into an energy deposition model employing soft X-ray and Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) solar fluxes at a range of spectral resolutions (∆λ = 4×10−3 nm to 1 nm) assembled from TIMED/SEE, from SOHO/SUMER, and from the Whole Heliosphere Interval (WHI) quiet Sun campaign. Our energy deposition model calculates ion production rate profiles through photo-ionisation and electron-impact ionisation processes, as well as rates of photo-dissociation of CH4. The ion reaction rate profiles we determine are important to obtain accurate ion density profiles, meanwhile methane photo-dissociation is key to initiate complex organic chemical processes. We assess the importance of spectral resolution in the energy deposition model by using a high-resolution H2 photo-absorption cross section, which has the effect of producing additional ionisation peaks near 800 km altitude. We find that these peaks are still formed when using low resolution (∆λ = 1 nm) or mid-resolution (∆λ = 0.1 nm) solar spectra, as long as high-resolution cross sections are included in the model.

Journal article

Matteini L, Laker R, Horbury T, Woodham L, Bale SD, Stawarz JE, Woolley T, Steinvall K, Jones GH, Grant SR, Afghan Q, Galand M, O'Brien H, Evans V, Angelini V, Maksimovic M, Chust T, Khotyaintsev Y, Krasnoselskikh V, Kretzschmar M, Lorfevre E, Plettemeier D, Soucek J, Steller M, Stverak S, Travnicek P, Vaivads A, Vecchio A, Wimmer-Schweingruber RF, Ho GC, Gomez-Herrero R, Rodriguez-Pacheco J, Louarn P, Fedorov A, Owen CJ, Bruno R, Livi S, Zouganelis I, Muller Det al., 2021, Solar Orbiter's encounter with the tail of comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS): Magnetic field draping and cometary pick-up ion waves, Astronomy and Astrophysics: a European journal, Vol: 656, ISSN: 0004-6361

ontext. Solar Orbiter is expected to have flown close to the tail of comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) during the spacecraft’s first perihelion in June 2020. Models predict a possible crossing of the comet tails by the spacecraft at a distance from the Sun of approximately 0.5 AU.Aims. This study is aimed at identifying possible signatures of the interaction of the solar wind plasma with material released by comet ATLAS, including the detection of draped magnetic field as well as the presence of cometary pick-up ions and of ion-scale waves excited by associated instabilities. This encounter provides us with the first opportunity of addressing such dynamics in the inner Heliosphere and improving our understanding of the plasma interaction between comets and the solar wind.Methods. We analysed data from all in situ instruments on board Solar Orbiter and compared their independent measurements in order to identify and characterize the nature of structures and waves observed in the plasma when the encounter was predicted.Results. We identified a magnetic field structure observed at the start of 4 June, associated with a full magnetic reversal, a local deceleration of the flow and large plasma density, and enhanced dust and energetic ions events. The cross-comparison of all these observations support a possible cometary origin for this structure and suggests the presence of magnetic field draping around some low-field and high-density object. Inside and around this large scale structure, several ion-scale wave-forms are detected that are consistent with small-scale waves and structures generated by cometary pick-up ion instabilities.Conclusions. Solar Orbiter measurements are consistent with the crossing through a magnetic and plasma structure of cometary origin embedded in the ambient solar wind. We suggest that this corresponds to the magnetotail of one of the fragments of comet ATLAS or to a portion of the tail that was previously disconnected and advected past the spacec

Journal article

Stephenson P, Galand M, Deca J, Henri P, Carnielli Get al., 2021, Forming a cold electron population at a weakly outgassing comet&amp;#160;

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The Rosetta Mission rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014 and escorted it for two years along its orbit. The Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) was a suite of instruments, which observed the plasma environment at the spacecraft throughout the escort phase. The Mutual Impedance Probe (RPC/MIP; Wattieaux et al, 2020; Gilet et al., 2020) and Langmuir Probe (RPC/LAP; Engelhardt et al., 2018), both part of RPC, measured the presence of a cold electron population within the coma.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;Newly born electrons, generated by ionisation of the neutral gas, form a warm population within the coma at ~10eV. Ionisation is either through absorption of extreme ultraviolet photons or through collisions of energetic electrons with the neutral molecules. The cold electron population is formed by cooling the newly born, warm electrons via electron-neutral collisions. Assuming the radial outflow of electrons, the cold population was only expected at comet 67P close to perihelion, where outgassing rate from the nucleus was at its highest (Q &amp;gt; 10&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;28&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt; s&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;-1&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt;). However, cold electrons were observed until the end of the Rosetta mission at 3.8au when the outgassing was weak (Q&amp;lt;10&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;26&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt; s&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;-1&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt;). Under the radial outflow assumption, there should not have been sufficient neutral gas to efficiently degrade the electron energies.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;We have developed the first 3D collision model of electrons at a comet. Self-consistently calculated electric and magnetic fields from a collisionless and fully-kinetic Particle-in-Cell model (Deca et al., 2017; 2019) are used as a stationary input for the test particle simulations. We model th

Conference paper

Rothkaehl H, Andre N, Auster U, Della Corte V, Edberg N, Galand M, Henri P, De Keyser J, Kolmasova I, Morawski M, Nilsson H, Prech L, Volwerk M, Goetz C, Gunell H, Lavraud B, Rotundi A, Soucek Jet al., 2021, Dust, Field and Plasma instrument onboard ESA&amp;#8217;s Comet Interceptor &amp;#160;mission&amp;#160;

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The main goal of ESA&amp;amp;#8217;s F-1 class Comet Interceptor mission is to characterise, for the first time, a long period comet; preferably a dynamically-new or an interstellar object. The main spacecraft, will have its trajectory outside of the inner coma, whereas two sub-spacecrafts will be targeted inside the inner coma, closer to the nucleus. The flyby of such a comet &amp;amp;#160;will offer unique multipoint measurement opportunity to study the comet's dusty and ionised environment in ways exceeding that of the previous cometary missions, including Rosetta.&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;amp;#160;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;The Dust Field and Plasma (DFP) instruments located on both the main spacecraft A and on the sub-spacecraft B2, is a combined experiment dedicated to the in situ, multi-point study of the multi-phased ionized and dusty environment in the coma of the target and &amp;amp;#160;its interaction with the surrounding space environment and the Sun.&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;amp;#160;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;The DFP instruments will be present in different configurations on the Comet Interceptor spacecraft A and B2. To enable the measurements on spacecraft A, the DFP is composed of 5 sensors; Fluxgate magnetometer DFP-FGM-A, Plasma instrument with nanodust and E-field measurements capabilities DFP-COMPLIMENT, Electron spectrometer DFP-LEES, Ion and energetic neutrals spectrometer DFP-SCIENA &amp;amp;#160;and Dust detector DFP-DISC. On board of spacecraft B2 the DFP is composed of 2 sensors: Fluxgate magnetometer DFP-FGM-B2 and Cometary dust detector DFP-DISC.&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;amp;#160;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;The DFP instrument will measure magnetic field, the electric field, plasma parameters (density, temperature, speed), the distribution functions of electrons, ions and energetic neutrals, spacecraft potential, mass, number and spatial density of c

Conference paper

Galand M, Feldman PD, Bockelee-Morvan D, Biver N, Cheng Y-C, Rinaldi G, Rubin M, Altwegg K, Deca J, Beth A, Stephenson P, Heritier KL, Henri P, Parker JW, Carr C, Eriksson AI, Burch Jet al., 2021, Far-ultraviolet aurora identified at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (vol 4, pg 1084, 2020), NATURE ASTRONOMY, ISSN: 2397-3366

Journal article

Stephenson P, Galand M, Feldman PD, Beth A, Rubin M, Bockelée-Morvan D, Biver N, -C Cheng Y, Parker J, Burch J, Johansson FL, Eriksson Aet al., 2021, Multi-instrument analysis of far-ultraviolet aurora in the southern hemisphere of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Astronomy and Astrophysics: a European journal, Vol: 647, Pages: 1-19, ISSN: 0004-6361

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, bothduring 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 forwardmodelling of FUV emissions in the southern hemisphere of comet 67P and compared modelled brightnesses to observations with theAlice FUV imaging spectrograph. We modelled the brightness of OI1356, OI1304, Lyman-β, CI1657, and CII1335 emissions, whichare associated with the dissociation products of the four major neutral species in the coma: CO2, H2O, CO, and O2. The suprathermalelectron population was probed by the Ion and Electron Sensor of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC/IES) and the neutral col umn density was constrained by several instruments: the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA), theMicrowave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) and the Visual InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS).Results. The modelled and observed brightnesses of the FUV emission lines agree closely when viewing nadir and dissociativeexcitation by electron impact is shown to be the dominant source of emissions away from perihelion. The CII1335 emissions areshown to be consistent with the volume mixing ratio of CO derived from ROSINA. When viewing the limb during the impactsof corotating interaction regions, the model reproduces brightnesses of OI1356 and CI1657 well, but resonance scattering in theextended coma may contribute significantly to the observed Lyman-β and OI1304 emissions. The correlation between variationsin the suprathermal electron flux and the observed FUV line brightnesses when viewing the comet’s limb suggests electrons areaccelerated on

Journal article

Baran J, Rothkaehl H, Andre N, Auster U, Della Corte V, Edberg N, Galand M, Henri P, De Keyser J, Kolmasova I, Morawski M, Nilsson H, Prech L, Volwerk Met al., 2021, The challenges of&amp;#160; the Dust-Field-Plasma&amp;#160; (DFP) instrument onboard ESA &amp;#160;Comet Interceptor mission&amp;#160;

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The&amp;amp;#160;flyby of a dynamically new comet by ESA-F1 Comet Interceptor spacecraft offers unique multi-point&amp;amp;#160;opportunities for studying the comet's dusty and ionised cometary &amp;amp;#160;environment in ways that were not possible with previous missions, including Rosetta. As Comet Interceptor is an F-class mission, the payload is limited in terms of mass, power, and heritage. Most in situ science sensors therefore have been tightly integrated into a single Dust-Field-Plasma (DFP) instrument on the main spacecraft A and on the ESA sub-spacecraft B2, while there is&amp;amp;#160;a Plasma Package suite on the&amp;amp;#160;JAXA second sub-spacecraft B1. The advantage of tight integration is an important reduction of mass, power, and especially complexity, by keeping the electrical and data interfaces of the sensors internal to the DFP instrument.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The full diagnostics located on the board of the 3 spacecrafts will allow&amp;amp;#160; to modeling the comet environment and described the complex physical processes around the comet and on their surface including also the&amp;amp;#160; description of wave particle&amp;amp;#160; interaction in dusty cometary plasma.&amp;amp;#160;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The full set of DFP instrument&amp;amp;#160;on &amp;amp;#160;board the Comet Interceptor &amp;amp;#160;spacecraft will allow&amp;amp;#160;to model &amp;amp;#160;the comet plasma&amp;amp;#160;environment and&amp;amp;#160;its interaction with the solar wind.&amp;amp;#160;It will also allow to&amp;amp;#160;describe&amp;amp;#160;the complex physical processes taking place including wave particle&amp;amp;#160;&amp;amp;#160;interaction in dusty cometary plasma .&amp;amp;#160;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;On spacecraft A, DFP consists of a magne

Conference paper

Stephenson P, Galand M, Deca J, Henri P, Carnielli Get al., 2021, Electron cooling at a weakly outgassing comet

<jats:p>&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;The Rosetta spacecraft arrived at comet 67P in August 2014 and then escorted it for 2 years along its orbit. Throughout this escort phase, two plasma instruments (Mutual Impedance Probe, MIP; and Langmuir Probe, LAP) measured a population of cold electrons (&amp;lt; 1 eV) within the coma of 67P (Engelhardt et al., 2018; Wattieaux et al, 2020; Gilet et al., 2020). These cold electrons are understood to be formed by cooling warm electrons through collisions with the neutral gas. The warm electrons are primarily newly-born and produced at roughly 10eV within the coma through ionisation. While it was no surprise that cold electrons would form near perihelion given the high density of the neutral coma, the persistence of the cold electrons up to a heliocentric distance of 3.8 au was highly unexpected. With the low outgassing rates observed at such large heliocentric distances (Q &amp;lt; 10&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;26&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt; s&amp;lt;sup&amp;gt;-1&amp;lt;/sup&amp;gt;), there should not be enough neutral molecules to cool the warm electrons efficiently before they ballistically escape the coma.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;We use a collisional test particle model to examine the formation of the cold electron population at a weakly outgassing comet. The electrons are subject to stochastic collisions with the neutral coma which can either scatter or cool the electrons. Multiple electron neutral collision processes are included such that the electrons can undergo elastic scattering as well as collisions inducing excitation and ionisation of the neutral species. The inputted electric and magnetic fields, which act on the test particles, are taken from a 3D fully-kinetic, collisionless Particle-in-Cell (PiC) model of the solar wind and cometary ionosphere (Deca et al., 2017; 2019), with the same neutral coma as used in our model. We use a pure water coma with spherical sym

Conference paper

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