Polar coronal holes (PCHs) fill the high-latitude heliosphere with fast solar wind during the minimum phase of the solar cycle. This leads to a hardening of the energy spectrum of the proton plasma in the inner heliosheath (IHS), observed as energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). In particular, the highest-energy channel of the IBEX-Hi instrument (at 4.3 keV) is a very sensitive indicator of pretermination shock fast wind entering the IHS. We show that the 4.3 keV ENA flux observed from the ecliptic poles is well correlated with the area of the solar surface covered by PCHs throughout the solar cycle, which demonstrates the existence of a direct connection between coronal structure and the dynamic properties of the IHS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Corona - sun
- Solar wind - sun