Energetic Neutral Atom Fluxes from the Heliosheath: Constraints from in situ Measurements and Models

S. A. Fuselier, A. Galli, J. D. Richardson, D. B. Reisenfeld, E. J. Zirnstein, J. Heerikhuisen, M. A. Dayeh, N. A. Schwadron, D. J. McComas, H. A. Elliott, R. G. Gomez, M. J. Starkey, M. Z. Kornbleuth, M. Opher, K. Dialynas

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Voyager 2 observations throughout the heliosheath from the termination shock to the heliopause are used to normalize and constrain model pickup ion (PUI) fluxes. Integrating normalized PUI fluxes along the Voyager 2 trajectory through the heliosheath, and combining these integral fluxes with the energy-dependent charge-exchange cross section and the neutral hydrogen density, produces semi-empirical estimates of the energetic neutral atom (ENA) fluxes from the heliosheath. These estimated ENA fluxes are compared with observed ENA fluxes from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) to determine what percentage of the observed fluxes at each IBEX energy are from the heliosheath. These percentages are a maximum of ∼10% for most energies and depend strongly on termination shock properties, plasma density, bulk plasma flow characteristics, the shape of the heliopause, and turbulent energy diffusion in the heliosheath.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL26
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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