Combined in situ ion measurements and remote sensing of energetic neutral atoms are used to determine the geocoronal Hydrogen density at large (∼10 RE) distances from the Earth. This method for determining the geocoronal density requires global magnetospheric modeling. Observations in the Earth's subsolar magnetosheath from the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission are used to determine the accuracy of using global models to predict the geocoronal density. On average, gas dynamic and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models and observations are in reasonable agreement, with differences <25%. In addition, the MHD model subsolar magnetopause is about 0.5 RE sunward of the observed location. However, variations around averages are large (up to a factor of 2), indicating that global models introduce relatively large uncertainties in geocoronal density estimates. Finally, the critical ion flux in the Interstellar Boundary Explorer IBEX-Hi energy range is often minimally affected by fluctuations of a factor of 2 in the density.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences
- MHD modeling
- solar wind-magnetosphere interaction