Width and variation of the ENA flux ribbon observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer.

Academic Article


  • The dominant feature in Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) sky maps of heliospheric energetic neutral atom (ENA) flux is a ribbon of enhanced flux that extends over a broad range of ecliptic latitudes and longitudes. It is narrow (approximately 20 degrees average width) but long (extending over 300 degrees in the sky) and is observed at energies from 0.2 to 6 kilo-electron volts. We demonstrate that the flux in the ribbon is a factor of 2 to 3 times higher than that of the more diffuse, globally distributed heliospheric ENA flux. The ribbon is most pronounced at approximately 1 kilo-electron volt. The average width of the ribbon is nearly constant, independent of energy. The ribbon is likely the result of an enhancement in the combined solar wind and pickup ion populations in the heliosheath.
  • Authors

  • Fuselier, SA
  • Allegrini, F
  • Funsten, HO
  • Ghielmetti, AG
  • Heirtzler, D
  • Kucharek, Harald
  • Lennartsson, OW
  • McComas, DJ
  • Möbius, E
  • Moore, TE
  • Petrinec, SM
  • Saul, LA
  • Scheer, JA
  • Schwadron, Nathan
  • Wurz, P
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 13, 2009
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19833916
  • Start Page

  • 962
  • End Page

  • 964
  • Volume

  • 326
  • Issue

  • 5955