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Abstract Our understanding of the interaction of the large-scale heliosphere with the local interstellar medium (LISM) has undergone a profound change since the very earliest analyses of the problem. In part, the revisions have been a consequence of ever-improving and widening observational results, especially those that identified the entrance of interstellar material and gas into the heliosphere. Accompanying these observations was the identification of the basic underlying physics of how neutral interstellar gas and interstellar charged particles of different energies, up to and including interstellar dust grains, interacted with the temporal flows and electromagnetic fields of the heliosphere. The incorporation of these various basic effects into global models of the interaction, whether focused on neutral interstellar gas and pickup ions, energetic particles such as anomalous and galactic cosmic rays, or magnetic fields and large-scale flows, has profoundly changed our view of how the heliosphere and LISM interact. This article presents a brief history of the conceptual and observation evolution of our understanding of the interaction of the heliosphere with the local interstellar medium, up until approximately 1996.Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
Suprathermal Ion Energy Spectra and Anisotropies near the Heliospheric Current Sheet Crossing Observed by the Parker Solar Probe during Encounter 7Abstract We present observations of ≳10–100 keV nucleon −1 suprathermal (ST) H, He, O, and Fe ions associated with crossings of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) at radial distances of <0.1 au from the Sun. Our key findings are as follows: (1) very few heavy ions are detected during the first full crossing, the heavy-ion intensities are reduced during the second partial crossing and peak just after the second crossing; (2) ion arrival times exhibit no velocity dispersion; (3) He pitch-angle distributions track the magnetic field polarity reversal and show up to ∼10:1 anti-sunward, field-aligned flows and beams closer to the HCS that become nearly isotropic farther from the HCS; (4) the He spectrum steepens either side of the HCS, and the He, O, and Fe spectra exhibit power laws of the form ∼ E −4 – E 6 ; and (5) maximum energies E X increase with the ion’s charge-to-mass ( Q / M ) ratio as E X / E H ∝ ( Q X / M X ) δ , where δ ∼ 0.65–0.76, assuming that the average Q states are similar to those measured in gradual and impulsive solar energetic particle events at 1 au. Themore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023