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Title: IBEX: THE FIRST FIVE YEARS (2009-2013)

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) returned its first five years of scientific observations from 2009 to 2013. In this study, we examine, validate, initially analyze, and provide to the broad scientific community this complete set of energetic neutral atom (ENA) observations for the first time. IBEX measures the fluxes of ENAs reaching 1 AU from sources in the outer heliosphere and most likely the very nearby interstellar space beyond the heliopause. The data, maps, and documentation provided in this study represent the fourth major release of the IBEX data, incorporate important improvements, and should be used for future studies and as the citable reference for the current version of the IBEX data. In this study, we also examine five years of time evolution in the outer heliosphere and the resulting ENA emissions. These observations show a complicated variation with a general decrease in ENA fluxes from 2009 to 2012 over most regions of the sky, consistent with a 2-4 year recycle time for the previously decreasing solar wind flux. In contrast, the heliotail fluxes continue to decrease, again consistent with a significantly more distant source in the downwind direction. Finally, the Ribbon shows the most complicated time variations, with amore » leveling off in the southern hemisphere and continued decline in the northern one; these may be consistent with the Ribbon source being significantly farther away in the north than in the south. Together, the observations and results shown in this study expose the intricacies of our heliosphere's interaction with the local interstellar medium.« less
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  1. Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228 (United States)
  2. Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw (Poland)
  3. Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Intelligence and Space Research Division, P.O. Box 1663, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronautical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1192 (United States)
  6. University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812 (United States)
  7. Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Morse Hall Room 407, Durham, NH 03824 (United States)
  8. Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series; Journal Volume: 213; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States