Skip Navigation Links
Discontinuity, Nonlinearity, and Complexity

Dimitry Volchenkov (editor), Dumitru Baleanu (editor)

Dimitry Volchenkov(editor)

Mathematics & Statistics, Texas Tech University, 1108 Memorial Circle, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA


Dumitru Baleanu (editor)

Cankaya University, Ankara, Turkey; Institute of Space Sciences, Magurele-Bucharest, Romania


Simulating the Interaction of a Comet With the Solar Wind Using a Magnetohydrodynamic Mode

Discontinuity, Nonlinearity, and Complexity 7(2) (2018) 143--149 | DOI:10.5890/DNC.2018.06.003

Edgard de F. D. Evangelista$^{1}$, Margarete O. Domingues$^{2}$, Odim Mendes$^{3}$, Oswaldo D. Miranda$^{4}$

$^{1}$ Laboratório Associado de Computação eMatemática Aplicada, PCI/MCTI/INPE, São José dos Campos, Brazil

$^{2}$ Laboratório Associado de Computação e Matemática Aplicada, INPE, São José dos Campos, Brazil

$^{3}$ Divisão de Geofísica Espacial, INPE, São José dos Campos, Brazil

$^{4}$ Divisão de Astrofísica, INPE, São José dos Campos, Brazil

Download Full Text PDF



We present simulations of a comet interacting with the solar wind. Such simulations are treated in the framework of the ideal, 2D magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), using the FLASH code in order to solve the equations of such a formalism. Besides, the comet is treated as a spherically symmetric source of ions in the equations of MHD. We generate results considering several scenarios, using different values for the physical parameters of the solar wind and of the comet in each case. Our aim is to study the influence of the solar wind on the characteristics of the comet and, given the nonlinear nature of the MHD, we search for the occurrence of phenomena which are typical of nonlinear systems such as instabilities and turbulence.


EFD Evangelista acknowledges the Brazilian agency CNPq, grant 300887/2017-5 (PCI INPE). O Mendes, MO Domingues and OD Miranda acknowledge FINEP (under agreement 01.12.0527.00), the Brazilian agencies CNPq (grants 306038/2015-3; 307083/2017-9; 303350/2015-6; 312246/2013-7), FAPESP (grant 2015/25624- 2), CAPES for financial support. Solar wind data were provided by GSFC/SPDF with the OMNIWeb interface. FLASH was in part developed by the DOE NNSA-ASC OASCR Flash Center at the University of Chicago.


  1. [1]  Greenberg, J.M. (1998),Making a comet nucleus, Astron. Astrophys., 330(1), 375-380.
  2. [2]  Carroll, B.W. and Ostlie, D.A. (2007), An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley: San Francisco.
  3. [3]  Fryxell, B. and et al. (2000), FLASH: an adaptivemesh hydrodynamics code for modeling astrophysical thermonuclear flashes, Astrophys. J. Suppl. S., 131, 273-334.
  4. [4]  Powell, K.G., Roe, P.L., Linde, T.J., Gombosi, T.I., and De Zeeuw, D.L. (1999), A solution-adaptive upwind scheme for ideal magnetohydrodynamics, J. Comp. Phys., 154, 284-309.
  5. [5]  Ekenbäck, A., Holmström, M., Barabash, S., and Gunell, H. (2008), Energetic neutral atom imaging of comets, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35(5), L05103.
  6. [6]  Gunell, H. and et al. (2015), Acceleration of ions and nano dust at a comet in the solar wind, Planet. Space Sci., 119, 13-23.
  7. [7]  Young, D.T. and et al. (2004), Solar wind interactions with Comet 19P/Borrelly, Icarus, 167, 80-88.
  8. [8]  Dubey, A., Reid, L.B. and Fisher, R. (2008), Introduction to FLASH 3.0, with application to supersonic turbulence, Phys. Scripta, T132, 014046.
  9. [9]  Courant, R., Friedrichs, K., and Leawy, H. (1967), On the partial difference equations of mathematical physics, IBM J. Res. Dev., 11(2), 215-234.
  10. [10]  Lebedev, M.G., Baranov, V.B., and Alexashov, D.B. (2015), Interaction of low-activity comets with the solar wind, Earth Moon Planets, 116, 159-179.