The first three years of ibex observations and our evolving heliosphere

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

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108 Scopus citations


This study provides, for the first time, complete and validated observations from the first three years (2009-2011) of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission. Energetic neutral atom (ENA) fluxes are corrected for both the time-variable cosmic ray background and for orbit-by-orbit variations in their probability of surviving en route from the outer heliosphere in to 1 AU where IBEX observes them. In addition to showing all six six-month maps, we introduce new annual ram and anti-ram maps, which can be produced without the need for algorithm-dependent Compton-Getting corrections. Together, the ENA maps, data, and supporting documentation presented here support the full release of these data to the broader scientific community and provide the citable reference for them. In addition, we show that heliospheric ENA emissions have been decreasing over the epoch from 2009 to 2011 with the IBEX Ribbon decreasing by the largest fraction and only the heliotail (which is offset from the down wind direction by the interstellar magnetic field) showing essentially no reduction and actually some increase. Finally, we show how the much more complete observations provided here strongly indicate a quite direct and latitude-dependent solar wind source of the Ribbon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2012


FundersFunder number
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science21340140


    • ISM: general
    • ISM: magnetic fields
    • Plasmas
    • Solar wind
    • Stars: atmospheres
    • Sun: heliosphere


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