This content will become publicly available on June 1, 2023
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- Space Science Reviews
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Interstellar Neutrals, Pickup Ions, and Energetic Neutral Atoms Throughout the Heliosphere: Present Theory and Modeling OverviewAbstract Interstellar neutrals (ISNs), pick-up ions (PUIs), and energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) are fundamental constituents of the heliosphere and its interaction with the neighboring interstellar medium. Here, we focus on selected aspects of present-day theory and modeling of these particles. In the last decades, progress in the understanding of the role of PUIs and ENAs for the global heliosphere and its interaction with very local interstellar medium is impressive and still growing. The increasing number of measurements allows for verification and continuing development of the theories and model attempts. We present an overview of various model descriptions of the heliosphere and the processes throughout it including the kinetic, fluid, and hybrid solutions. We also discuss topics in which interplay between theory, models, and interpretation of measurements reveals the complexity of the heliosphere and its understanding. They include model-based interpretation of the ISN, PUI, and ENA measurements conducted from the Earth’s vicinity. In addition, we describe selected processes beyond the Earth’s orbit up to the heliosphere boundary regions, where PUIs significantly contribute to the complex system of the global heliosphere and its interaction with the VLISM.
Abstract The solar wind (SW) and local interstellar medium (LISM) are turbulent media. Their interaction is governed by complex physical processes and creates heliospheric regions with significantly different properties in terms of particle populations, bulk flow and turbulence. Our knowledge of the solar wind turbulence nature and dynamics mostly relies on near-Earth and near-Sun observations, and has been increasingly improving in recent years due to the availability of a wealth of space missions, including multi-spacecraft missions. In contrast, the properties of turbulence in the outer heliosphere are still not completely understood. In situ observations by Voyager and New Horizons , and remote neutral atom measurements by IBEX strongly suggest that turbulence is one of the critical processes acting at the heliospheric interface. It is intimately connected to charge exchange processes responsible for the production of suprathermal ions and energetic neutral atoms. This paper reviews the observational evidence of turbulence in the distant SW and in the LISM, advances in modeling efforts, and open challenges.
Exploring turbulence from the Sun to the local interstellar medium: Current challenges and perspectives for future space missionsTurbulence is ubiquitous in space plasmas. It is one of the most important subjects in heliospheric physics, as it plays a fundamental role in the solar wind—local interstellar medium interaction and in controlling energetic particle transport and acceleration processes. Understanding the properties of turbulence in various regions of the heliosphere with vastly different conditions can lead to answers to many unsolved questions opened up by observations of the magnetic field, plasma, pickup ions, energetic particles, radio and UV emissions, and so on. Several space missions have helped us gain preliminary knowledge on turbulence in the outer heliosphere and the very local interstellar medium. Among the past few missions, the Voyagers have paved the way for such investigations. This paper summarizes the open challenges and voices our support for the development of future missions dedicated to the study of turbulence throughout the heliosphere and beyond.
We present here the first of a series of papers aimed at better understanding the evolution and properties of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in a galactic context. We perform high-resolution, three-dimensional arepo simulations of an interacting galaxy inspired by the well-observed M51 galaxy. Our fiducial simulations include a non-equilibrium, time-dependent, chemical network that follows the evolution of atomic and molecular hydrogen as well as carbon and oxygen self-consistently. Our calculations also treat gas self-gravity and subsequent star formation (described by sink particles), and coupled supernova feedback. In the densest parts of the simulated interstellar medium (ISM), we reach sub-parsec resolution, granting us the ability to resolve individual GMCs and their formation and destruction self-consistently throughout the galaxy. In this initial work, we focus on the general properties of the ISM with a particular focus on the cold star-forming gas. We discuss the role of the interaction with the companion galaxy in generating cold molecular gas and controlling stellar birth. We find that while the interaction drives large-scale gas flows and induces spiral arms in the galaxy, it is of secondary importance in determining gas fractions in the different ISM phases and the overall star formation rate. The behaviour ofmore »
Abstract Interstellar pickup ions are an ubiquitous and thermodynamically important component of the solar wind plasma in the heliosphere. These PUIs are born from the ionization of the interstellar neutral gas, consisting of hydrogen, helium, and trace amounts of heavier elements, in the solar wind as the heliosphere moves through the local interstellar medium. As cold interstellar neutral atoms become ionized, they form an energetic ring beam distribution comoving with the solar wind. Subsequent scattering in pitch angle by intrinsic and self-generated turbulence and their advection with the radially expanding solar wind leads to the formation of a filled-shell PUI distribution, whose density and pressure relative to the thermal solar wind ions grows with distance from the Sun. This paper reviews the history of in situ measurements of interstellar PUIs in the heliosphere. Starting with the first detection in the 1980s, interstellar PUIs were identified by their highly nonthermal distribution with a cutoff at twice the solar wind speed. Measurements of the PUI distribution shell cutoff and the He focusing cone, a downwind region of increased density formed by the solar gravity, have helped characterize the properties of the interstellar gas from near-Earth vantage points. The preferential heating of interstellar PUIsmore »