- Conference date: 17–22 June 2012
- Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Collisionless mass-loading by interplanetary dust particles is expected to cause a significant disruption in the flow of the solar wind. Dust particles near the Sun can become a source of ions and neutrals due to evaporation and sputtering. This mass-loading effect can lead to the formation of collisionless shocks, as it was first discussed in the case of solar wind interaction with comets. This effect can also be compared with a de Laval nozzle, which behaves differently between subsonic and supersonic flows. We investigate the effects of mass-loading resulting from sun-grazing comets or collisions by larger bodies in the vicinity of the Sun, where the solar wind transitions from subsonic to supersonic speeds. We look at results obtained using a simple 1D hydrodynamic model to mass-load ionized dust into the the wind near the sonic point, which are relevant for understanding the acceleration of the solar wind and possible changes in its composition due to dust.
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