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Charge exchange in cometary coma: Discovery of H- ions in the solar wind close to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

As Rosetta was orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Ion and Electron Sensor detected negative particles with angular distributions like those of the concurrently measured solar wind protons but with fluxes of only about 10% of the proton fluxes and energies of about 90% of the proton energies. Using well-known cross sections and energy-loss data, it is determined that the fluxes and energies of the negative particles are consistent with the production of H- ions in the solar wind by double charge exchange with molecules in the coma.

Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 13, 5125 (2015)

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Authors: 
Burch, J. L., Cravens*, T. E., Llera, K.; Goldstein, R., Mokashi, P., Tzou, C.-Y., Broiles, T. * KU Authors