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Astron. Astrophys. 358, 759-775 (2000)

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12. A dictionary

Rauer et al. (1995) calculated the effects of 1.) a change in solar wind flow, 2.) the rotation of the magnetic field by 90o, and 3.) a combination of velocity and magnetic field changes. They compared the model results with observations made by Bonev & Jockers (1994) at comet Austin 1990 V. They summarized their results in a catalogue with entries of possible changes in the solar wind condition on one side and their effects on the cometary tail on the other side (Rauer et al. 1995, Table 3).

We can now summarize the results of our calculations in a similar way in a sort of dictionary which translates cometary events into solar wind causes. This translation is mediated by the connection between solar wind disturbances and cometary events found in our model calculations. The result is shown in Fig. 25. The left column shows the cometary tail found in the models four hours after the solar wind disturbance entered the computational grid. The right column denotes the triggering solar wind discontinuity. The middle column shows images of comet Halley's tail taken by ESO in 1986 and published as a movie in the internet. These rather coarse images show the essential features of the tail most clearly. They are therefore most suitable for comparison with our model results which admittedly are obtained on a rather coarse grid.

[FIGURE] Fig. 25. An atlas of cometary tail morphologies: models (left column), observations (middle column) and their solar wind causes (right). The images of comet Halley 1986 are taken from a movie published by ESO in the internet.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 8, 2000