Tracking the direction of the interstellar wind over a full solar cycle using pickup ions detected by ACE SWICS

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jason A Gilbert1, Daniel J Gershman2, George Gloeckler3, Paul Shearer4, Mark Stakhiv4, Rudolf von Steiger5 and Thomas Zurbuchen3, (1)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Heliophysics Sci. Div., Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)Univ Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (4)University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (5)International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland
Recent studies regarding the flow direction of interstellar wind through the heliosphere have determined the longitudinal evolution using neutral Helium as an indicator. Ionized interstellar helium that is picked up by the solar wind has also been used to measure the helium focusing cone and determine its longitudinal orientation. This study expands previous pickup ion measurements and provides, for the first time, more than a full solar cycle of continuous pickup ion tracking of the interstellar wind direction. We discuss these results from ACE-SWICS and show how they fit within the context of previous investigations.