The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observes the "ribbon" of enhanced energetic neutral atom (ENA) fluxes from the outer heliosphere. The ribbon flux is likely formed from the neutralization of energetic pickup ions (PUIs) gyrating in the interstellar magnetic field outside the heliopause.
The University Space Physics group and David J. McComas, a professor in the astrophysical sciences department, contributed to building a record-breaking spacecraft, which is providing new, crucial information about the solar winds and particles from the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
Since the discovery of the Moon’s asymmetric ejecta cloud, the origin of its sunward-canted density enhancement has not been well understood.
Integrating simultaneous in situ measurements of magnetic field fluctuations, precipitating electrons, and ultraviolet auroral emissions, we find that Alfvénic acceleration mechanisms are responsible for Ganymede's auroral footprint tail. Magnetic field perturbations exhibit enhanced Alfvénic activity with Poynting fluxes of ~100 mW/m2.
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft has flown into the densest, previously unexplored, innermost region of our solar system’s zodiacal cloud. While PSP does not have a dedicated dust detector, multiple instruments on the spacecraft are sensitive to the effects of meteoroid bombardment.
A Princeton-led mission to study the interaction of the solar wind with the ancient cast-off winds of other stars, and the fundamental process of particle acceleration in space, has completed a critical NASA review and is now moving closer toward a scheduled launch in 2024.
The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment aboard Juno observed accelerated proton populations connected to Io's footprint tail aurora. While accelerated electron populations have been previously linked with Io's auroral footprint tail aurora, we present new evidence for proton acceleration due to Io's Alfvénic interaction with Jupiter's...
The effects of turbulence in the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) have been proposed by Giacalone & Jokipii to be important in determining the structure of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) ribbon via particle trapping by...
Interstellar neutral atoms provide a remote diagnostic of plasma in the outer heliosheath and the very local interstellar medium via charge exchange collisions that convert ions into atoms and vice versa. So far, most studies of interstellar atoms assumed that daughter hydrogen atoms directly inherit the kinetic properties of parent protons.
The interstellar neutral (ISN) gas enters the heliosphere and is detected at a few au from the Sun, as demonstrated by Ulysses and the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Ulysses observed ISN gas from different vantage points in a polar orbit from 1994 to 2007, while IBEX has been observing in an Earth orbit in a fixed direction relative to...