Neutral atmospheres of comets: A distributed source model

W. H. Ip, D. A. Mendis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


It is argued that the typical nuclear region of a comet, under a variety of circumstances, consists of a central icy nucleus surrounded by an extended icy halo of grains forming a supplementary source for the observed atmospheric constituents. A complete hydrodynamic description of a neutral atmosphere corresponding to such a distributed source model when the predominant 'parent-molecule' is H2O is given, and numerical results corresponding to two different velocity distributions of the icy halo consistent with smaller and larger grains are computed. The applicability and relevance of these models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1974


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