IBEX: The first five years (2009-2013)

D. J. McComas, F. Allegrini, M. Bzowski, M. A. Dayeh, R. Demajistre, H. O. Funsten, S. A. Fuselier, M. Gruntman, P. H. Janzen, M. A. Kubiak, H. Kucharek, E. Möbius, D. B. Reisenfeld, N. A. Schwadron, J. M. Sokół, M. Tokumaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) returned its first five years of scientific observations from 2009 to 2013. In this study, we examine, validate, initially analyze, and provide to the broad scientific community this complete set of energetic neutral atom (ENA) observations for the first time. IBEX measures the fluxes of ENAs reaching 1 AU from sources in the outer heliosphere and most likely the very nearby interstellar space beyond the heliopause. The data, maps, and documentation provided in this study represent the fourth major release of the IBEX data, incorporate important improvements, and should be used for future studies and as the citable reference for the current version of the IBEX data. In this study, we also examine five years of time evolution in the outer heliosphere and the resulting ENA emissions. These observations show a complicated variation with a general decrease in ENA fluxes from 2009 to 2012 over most regions of the sky, consistent with a 2-4 year recycle time for the previously decreasing solar wind flux. In contrast, the heliotail fluxes continue to decrease, again consistent with a significantly more distant source in the downwind direction. Finally, the Ribbon shows the most complicated time variations, with a leveling off in the southern hemisphere and continued decline in the northern one; these may be consistent with the Ribbon source being significantly farther away in the north than in the south. Together, the observations and results shown in this study expose the intricacies of our heliosphere's interaction with the local interstellar medium.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: heliosphere
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • local interstellar matter
  • solar wind


Dive into the research topics of 'IBEX: The first five years (2009-2013)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this