Probing the nature of the heliosheath with the neutral atom spectra measured by ibex in the voyager 1 direction

M. Opher, C. Prested, D. J. McComas, N. A. Schwadron, J. F. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We are able to show by comparing modeled energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) spectra to those measured by Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) that the models along the Voyager 1 (V1) trajectory that best agree with the low energy IBEX data include extra heating due to ram and magnetic energy in the quasi-stagnation region or a kappa ion distribution (with κ = 2.0) in the outer heliosheath. The model explored is the multi-ion, multi-fluid (MI-MF) which treats the pick-up ions and the thermal ion fluids with separate Maxwellian distributions. These effects are included ad hoc in the modeled ENA since they are not present in the model. These results indicate that the low energy spectra of ENAs as measured by IBEX is sensitive to the physical nature of the heliosheath and to effects not traditionally present in current global models. Therefore, by comparing the low energy ENA spectra to models, we can potentially probe the heliosheath in locations beyond those probed by V1 and Voyager 2 (V2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL32
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume776
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • interplanetary medium
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • solar wind

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