UV optical measurements of the Nozomi spacecraft interpreted with a two-component LIC-flow model

H. Nakagawa, M. Bzowski, A. Yamazaki, H. Fukunishi, S. Watanabe, Y. Takahashi, M. Taguchi, I. Yoshikawa, K. Shiomi, M. Nakamura

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Aims. Following recent reports on spectroscopic observations by SWAN/SOHO suggesting that the flows of neutral interstellar helium and hydrogen in the inner heliosphere are slightly divergent, we tried to verify them on the basis of simultaneous photometric observations of heliospheric hydrogen and helium glows performed by a spacecraft located on an orbit between the Earth and Mars (which differs from the orbit of SWAN/SOHO). The observations were interpreted with the use of various independent models of interstellar hydrogen and helium in the inner heliosphere, evaluated over a mesh of parameters.Methods. The data might suggest that the upwind and downwind directions of interstellar H may differ by less than 180°, which we interpret as due to a side shift of the secondary population of interstellar hydrogen, which might be due to a deformation of the outer heliosheath e.g. because of the action of interstellar magnetic field. The simulations we performed do not support the idea that the secondary population is significantly shifted to the side.Results. The upwind/downwind direction of interstellar hydrogen as derived from our observations agrees within the error bars with the upwind/downwind direction of interstellar helium and the error bars include both the upwind direction of interstellar helium, derived from in-situ observations of GAS/Ulysses, and the upwind direction of interstellar hydrogen, derived from observations of SWAN/SOHO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov


  • ISM: atoms
  • Sun: UV radiation
  • Ultraviolet: ISM


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