Observations of the interplanetary hydrogen during solar cycles 23 and 24. What can we deduce about the local interstellar medium?

Frédéric E. Vincent, Olga Katushkina, Lotfi Ben-Jaffel, Walter M. Harris, Vladislav Izmodenov, Eric Quémerais, Dimitra Koutroumpa, John Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Observations of interstellar helium atoms by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft in 2009 reported a local interstellar medium (LISM) velocity vector different from the results of the Ulysses spacecraft between 1991 and 2002. The interplanetary hydrogen (IPH), a population of neutrals that fills the space between planets inside the heliosphere, carries the signatures of the LISM and its interaction with the solar wind. More than 40 yr of space-based studies of the backscattered solar Lyα emission from the IPH provided limited access to the velocity distribution, with the first temporal evolution map of the IPH line-shift during solar cycle 23. This work presents the results of the latest IPH observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph during solar cycle 24. These results have been compiled with previous measurements, including data from the Solar Wind Anisotropies instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The whole set has been compared to physically realistic models to test both sets of LISM physical parameters as measured by Ulysses and IBEX, respectively. This comparison shows that the LISM velocity vector has not changed significantly since Ulysses measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL25
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume788
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2014

Keywords

  • Sun: UV radiation
  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: heliosphere
  • local interstellar matter
  • solar neighborhood
  • solar wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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