Constructing Phase Space Distributions within the Heliosheath

Monday, 15 December 2014
Edmond C Roelof, Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States
The key function in the description of the dynamics of the heliosheath (HS) is the phase space distribution (PSD) of the protons, i.e., how the interaction between the thermal and non-thermal (heated pick-up) proton populations evolves from the termination shock to the heliopause (HP) in this high-beta plasma. Voyager 1 found the heliopause to be essentially a (compound) magnetic separatrix, because the intensity of the non-thermal particle population became undetectably small beyond the HP, whereas the anisotropy characteristics of the galactic cosmic rays were consistent with no re-entry of the magnetic field lines into the HS (at either end). This paper attempts to synthesize in situ observations from Voyagers 1 and 2 (thermal plasma, magnetic field, energetic ions, and cosmic rays) with global ENA images from IBEX and Cassini/INCA into a self-consistent representation of the PSD within the noseward HS from thermal energies to several MeV/nuc. The interpretation of the ENA images requires assumptions on the global behavior of the bulk plasma flow throughout the HS that are self-consistent with all the available data (e.g., the spatial and energy dependence of the IBEX ribbon), because the Compton-Getting effects produced by the flows strongly affect the intensities (and thereby the partial densities and pressures) inferred from the ENA images.