A Note on the MassLoaded Magnetohydrodynamic Flow of the Solar Wind Towards a Cometary Nucleus
Abstract
In their pioneering work, Biermannet al. (1967) used the steadystate hydrodynamic equations to examine the dynamics of supersonic flow with mass addition. Assuming hypersonic flow at infinity, these authors showed that such a flow was possible only as long as the normalized fluxhat xleft( { = ρ u/ρ _infty u_infty } right) was less than a critical valuehat x_c. Athat x_c, the thermal Mach number became unity. In this brief note, we follow the treatment of Biermannet al., but instead investigate a 1D steady state, mass accreting MHD flow in the more general case where the magnetic and thermal pressures at infinity are nonzero. Using the integrals of the single fluid MHD conservation equations and Faradays law, we show that a selfreversal of the flow occurs when the magnetosonic Mach number reduces to unity andhat x reaches a critical value which depends only on the ratio of specific heats of the plasma and the conditions at infinity.
 Publication:

Astrophysics and Space Science
 Pub Date:
 August 1991
 DOI:
 10.1007/BF00646450
 Bibcode:
 1991Ap&SS.182..155F
 Keywords:

 Comet Nuclei;
 Computational Astrophysics;
 Magnetohydrodynamic Flow;
 Solar Wind;
 Astronomical Models;
 Hypersonic Flow;
 Mach Number;
 Plasma Interactions;
 Astrophysics