Modeling the Plasma Flow in the Inner Heliosheath with a Spatially Varying Compression Ratio

G. Nicolaou, G. Livadiotis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We examine a semi-analytical non-magnetic model of the termination shock location previously developed by Exarhos & Moussas. In their study, the plasma flow beyond the shock is considered incompressible and irrotational, thus the flow potential is analytically derived from the Laplace equation. Here we examine the characteristics of the downstream flow in the heliosheath in order to resolve several inconsistencies existing in the Exarhos & Moussas model. In particular, the model is modified in order to be consistent with the Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions and the geometry of the termination shock. It is shown that a shock compression ratio varying along the latitude can lead to physically correct results. We describe the new model and present several simplified examples for a nearly spherical, strong termination shock. Under those simplifications, the upstream plasma is nearly adiabatic for large (∼100 AU) heliosheath thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • plasmas
  • shock waves
  • solar wind
  • Sun: heliosphere


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