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Title: Mixing of the Interstellar and Solar Plasmas at the Heliospheric Interface

From the ideal MHD perspective, the heliopause is a tangential discontinuity that separates the solar wind plasma from the local interstellar medium plasma. There are physical processes, however, that make the heliopause permeable. They can be subdivided into kinetic and MHD categories. Kinetic processes occur on small length and time scales, and cannot be resolved with MHD equations. On the other hand, MHD instabilities of the heliopause have much larger scales and can be easily observed by spacecraft. The heliopause may also be a subject of magnetic reconnection. In this paper, we discuss mechanisms of plasma mixing at the heliopause in the context of Voyager 1 observations. Numerical results are obtained with a Multi-Scale Fluid-Kinetic Simulation Suite (MS-FLUKSS), which is a package of numerical codes capable of performing adaptive mesh refinement simulations of complex plasma flows in the presence of discontinuities and charge exchange between ions and neutral atoms. The flow of the ionized component is described with the ideal MHD equations, while the transport of atoms is governed either by the Boltzmann equation or multiple Euler gas dynamics equations. The code can also treat nonthermal ions and turbulence produced by them.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States). Dept. of Space Science; Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States). Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research
  2. Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville, AL (United States). Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 498; Conference: Numerical Modeling of Space Plasma Flows ASTRONUM-2014: 9th Annual International Conference, Long Beach, CA (United States), 23-27 Jun 2014; Related Information: ISBN 978-1-58381-880-0; Journal ID: ISSN 1050-3390
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
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
OSTI Identifier: