skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: The existence and nature of the interstellar bow shock

We report a new diagnosis of two different states of the local interstellar medium (LISM) near our solar system by using a sensitivity study constrained by several distinct and complementary observations of the LISM, solar wind, and inner heliosphere. Assuming the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) He flow parameters for the LISM, we obtain a strength of ∼2.7 ± 0.2 μG and a direction pointing away from galactic coordinates (28, 52) ± 3° for the interstellar magnetic field as a result of fitting Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in situ plasma measurements and IBEX energetic neutral atoms ribbon. When using Ulysses parameters for the LISM He flow, we recently reported the same direction but with a strength of 2.2 ± 0.1 μG. First, we notice that with Ulysses He flow, our solution is in the expected hydrogen deflection plane (HDP). In contrast, for the IBEX He flow, the solution is ∼20° away from the corresponding HDP plane. Second, the long-term monitoring of the interplanetary H I flow speed shows a value of ∼26 km s{sup –1} measured upwind from the Doppler shift in the strong Lyα sky background emission line. All elements of the diagnosis seem therefore to support Ulysses Hemore » flow parameters for the interstellar state. In that frame, we argue that reliable discrimination between superfast, subfast, or superslow states of the interstellar flow should be based on most existing in situ and remote observations used together with global modeling of the heliosphere. For commonly accepted LISM ionization rates, we show that a fast interstellar bow shock should be standing off upstream of the heliopause.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ;  [2]
  1. UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR7095, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014, Paris (France)
  2. Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw (Poland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348407
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 779; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DOPPLER EFFECT; EMISSION; HELIOSPHERE; INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS; SHOCK WAVES; SKY; SOLAR SYSTEM; SOLAR WIND; SUN; VELOCITY; VOYAGER SPACE PROBES