Direct observations of interstellar H, He, and O by the interstellar boundary explorer

E. Möbius, P. Bochsler, M. Bzowski, G. B. Crew, H. O. Funsten, S. A. Fuselier, A. Ghielmetti, D. Heirtzler, V. V. Izmodenov, M. Kubiak, H. Kucharek, M. A. Lee, T. Leonard, D. J. McComas, L. Petersen, L. Saul, J. A. Scheer, N. Schwadron, M. Witte, P. Wurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neutral gas of the local interstellar medium flows through the inner solar system while being deflected by solar gravity and depleted by ionization. The dominating feature in the energetic neutral atom Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) all-sky maps at low energies is the hydrogen, helium, and oxygen interstellar gas flow. The He and O flow peaked around 8 February 2009 in accordance with gravitational deflection, whereas H dominated after 26 March 2009, consistent with approximate balance of gravitational attraction by solar radiation pressure. The flow distributions arrive from a few degrees above the ecliptic plane and show the same temperature for He and O. An asymmetric O distribution in ecliptic latitude points to a secondary component from the outer heliosheath.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-971
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume326
Issue number5955
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 13 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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