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Title: The heliotail

The heliotail is formed when the solar wind (SW) interacts with the local interstellar medium (LISM) and is shaped by the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF). And while there are no spacecraft available to perform in situ measurements of the SW plasma and heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) in the heliotail, it is of importance for the interpretation of measurements of energetic neutral atom fluxes performed by Interstellar Boundary Explorer. It has been shown recently that the orientation of the heliotail in space and distortions of the unperturbed LISM caused by its presence may explain the anisotropy in the TeV cosmic ray flux detected in air shower observations. The SW flow in the heliotail is a mystery itself because it is strongly affected by charge exchange between the SW ions and interstellar neutral atoms. If the angle between the Sun’s magnetic and rotation axes is constant, the SW in the tail tends to be concentrated inside the HMF spirals deflected tailward. But, the twisted field soon becomes unstable and the reason for the SW collimation within a two-lobe structure vanishes. We demonstrate that kinetic treatment of the H atom transport becomes essential in this case for explaining the lobe absence further alongmore » the tail. We show that the heliotail flow is strongly affected by the solar cycle that eliminates artifacts, which is typical of solutions based on simplifying assumptions. And while its orientation and shape are determined by the ISMF direction and strength the heliopause in the tail is subject to Kelvin–Helmholtz instability.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States). Dept. of Space Sciences and Center for Plasma and Aeronomic Research
  2. Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States). Center for Plasma and Aeronomic Research
  3. Florida Inst. of Technology, Melbourne, FL (United States). Dept. of Physics and Space Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 812; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8213
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; ISM: kinematics and dynamics; magnetic fields; solar wind; sun:heliosphere
OSTI Identifier: