SWAP Pickup Ion Data Release (2022)

New Horizons’ Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument has been measuring interstellar hydrogen pickup ions (PUIs) out to ~52 au from the Sun. This data release provides the first high-time resolution observations of interstellar pickup ions (PUIs) in the outer heliosphere from ~49.5 – 52 au, including the first high-resolution observations of PUIs mediating shocks collected anywhere. These new data were enabled by a clever flight software reprogramming of the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on New Horizons to provide ~30-minute resolution compared to the prior ~24-hour time resolution. This time resolution is sufficient to resolve the shock structures and quantify the particle heating across these shocks. The new high-resolution observations are essential for understanding shocks in the outer heliosphere, the heliospheric termination shock, and more broadly for PUI mediated shocks across many astrophysical systems. A detailed description of the measurements, methodology, and analysis results can be found in McComas et al. (2022).

SWAP PUI distribution moments can be found here.

SWAP count rates used to derive PUI distribution moments can be found here.