Modified ion-Weibel instability as a possible source of wave activity at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
- 1Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, TU Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
- 2Institut für Theoretische Physik, TU Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
- 3Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
- 4German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstr. 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Abstract. We analytically discuss wave excitation in a homogeneous three component plasma consisting of solar wind protons, electrons and a beam of cometary water ions applied to the plasma environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The resulting dispersion relations are studied in a solar wind rest frame, where a cometary current is solely generated by the water ion beam, and a cometary rest frame representing the rest frame of the Rosetta spacecraft. A modified ion-Weibel instability is excited by the cometary current and predominantly grows perpendicular to this current. The corresponding water ion mode is connected to a frequency of about 40 mHz in agreement with wave measurements of Rosetta's magnetometer in the cometary rest frame. Furthermore, the superposition of the strongest growing waves result in a fan-like phase structure close to the comet.