An Empirical Model of Energetic Neutral Atom Imaging of the Heliosphere and Its Implications for Future Heliospheric Missions at Great Heliocentric Distances

Galli, André; Wurz, Peter; Fichtner, H.; Futaana, Y.; Barabash, S. (2019). An Empirical Model of Energetic Neutral Atom Imaging of the Heliosphere and Its Implications for Future Heliospheric Missions at Great Heliocentric Distances. Astrophysical journal, 886(1), p. 70. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e94

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Several concepts for heliospheric missions operating at heliocentric distances far beyond Earth orbit are currently investigated by the scientific community. The mission concept of the Interstellar Probe, e.g., aims at reaching a distance of 1000au away from the Sun within this century. This would allow the coming generation to obtain a global view of our heliosphere from an outside vantage point by measuring the energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) originating from the various plasma regions. It would also allow for direct sampling of the unperturbed interstellar medium, as well as for many observation opportunities beyond heliospheric science, such as visits to Kuiper Belt objects, a comprehensive view on the interplanetary dust populations, and infrared astronomy free from the foreground emission of the zodiacal cloud. In this study, we present a simple empirical model of ENAs from the heliosphere and derive basic requirements for ENA instrumentation on board a spacecraft at great heliocentric distances. We consider the full energy range of heliospheric ENAs from 10eV to 100keV because each part of the energy spectrum has its own merits for heliospheric science. To cover the full ENA energy range, two or three different ENA instruments are needed. Thanks to parallax observations, some insights about the nature of the IBEX ribbon and the dimensions of the heliosphere can already be gained by ENA imaging from a few au heliocentric distance. To directly reveal the global shape of the heliosphere, measurements from outside the heliosphere are, of course, the best option.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Galli, André and Wurz, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0004-637X

Publisher:

Institute of Physics Publishing IOP

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2020 15:19

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2020 02:46

Publisher DOI:

10.3847/1538-4357/ab4e94

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.139298

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/139298

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