MODELING the SOLAR WIND at the ULYSSES, VOYAGER, and NEW HORIZONS SPACECRAFT

T. K. Kim, N. V. Pogorelov, G. P. Zank, H. A. Elliott, D. J. McComas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The outer heliosphere is a dynamic region shaped largely by the interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium. While interplanetary magnetic field and plasma observations by the Voyager spacecraft have significantly improved our understanding of this vast region, modeling the outer heliosphere still remains a challenge. We simulate the three-dimensional, time-dependent solar wind flow from 1 to 80 astronomical units (au), where the solar wind is assumed to be supersonic, using a two-fluid model in which protons and interstellar neutral hydrogen atoms are treated as separate fluids. We use 1 day averages of the solar wind parameters from the OMNI data set as inner boundary conditions to reproduce time-dependent effects in a simplified manner which involves interpolation in both space and time. Our model generally agrees with Ulysses data in the inner heliosphere and Voyager data in the outer heliosphere. Ultimately, we present the model solar wind parameters extracted along the trajectory of the New Horizons spacecraft. We compare our results with in situ plasma data taken between 11 and 33 au and at the closest approach to Pluto on 2015 July 14.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number72
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume832
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Sun: heliosphere
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • methods: numerical
  • solar wind

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