The plasma tail consists mainly of ionized carbon monoxide (C[O.
The idea that comet nuclei are "dirty snowballs" explains the spectral signatures of water ice and other volatile compounds detected in plasma tails.
Direct measurements of the ions from spacecraft have led to intriguing, but unproven, conclusions that long plasma tails
or detached plasma islands are produced during magnetic storms and driven out through the dayside boundary of the magnetosphere by high-altitude winds.
BACK WHEN I LOOKED AT COMETARY plasma tails for a living, I'd gaze at images of Comet Halley and wonder what it would be like to ride on a comet throughout its orbit.
For example, it neglects recent work that correlates changes in the solar wind and in comet plasma tails.