The Effect of Angular Scattering Imposed by Charge Exchange and Elastic Collisions on Interstellar Neutral Hydrogen Atoms

F. Rahmanifard, P. Swaczyna, E. J. Zirnstein, J. Heerikhuisen, A. Galli, J. M. Sokół, N. A. Schwadron, E. Möbius, D. J. McComas, S. A. Fuselier

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Abstract

Angular scattering (AS) in charge exchange and elastic collisions between interstellar ions and neutral (ISN) atoms has been assumed to be negligible in previous studies. Here, we investigate the momentum transfer associated with the AS of H atoms using Monte Carlo calculations to simulate their transport through the outer heliosheath. We consider two cases where charge exchange and elastic collisions between ISN H atoms and protons occur with and without AS in the outer heliosheath. We show that considering AS decelerates and heats primary ISN H, reducing the effect of selective charge exchange in the outer heliosheath. Secondary ISN H atoms, on the other hand, are not significantly affected by AS. We then simulate the transport of ISN H atoms inside the heliosphere to simulate count rates observed in the lowest energy bin of IBEX-Lo. We study the effect of radiation pressure on the ISN H measurements for the cases with and without AS and compare them with our previous findings. We find an effective radiation parameter (μ eff, which represents force associated with radiation pressure relative to gravity) for the years 2009-2018 based on the longitudinal shift of the ISN H signal. The two cases with and without AS reproduce the longitudinal shift in accordance with variations in solar activity, in agreement with our previous results, and they result in similar values for the μ eff, which is ∼22%-23% larger than the value found based on solar Lyα profile observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume959
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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