Data Release 7

Release Description

Data Release 7 - The First Five Years
The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) returned its first five years of scientific observations from 2009 to 2013. In this release, we provide the backing data for the paper "McComas et al., 2014 ApJS, IBEX - the first five years (2009-2013)" in which are examined, validated, initially analyzed, and which provide to the broad scientific community a 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 release represent the fourth major release of the IBEX data (known as Data Release 7), 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 release expose the intricacies of our heliosphere’s interaction with the local interstellar medium.

For an in-depth description of Release 7, see below:

IBEX: THE FIRST FIVE YEARS (2009–2013) Paper

Data Release 7 Paper Overview

Data Release 7 Paper Overview

Download or view the paper here. 

IBEX Data Release 7 

This seventh data release contains data used in the publication of McComas et al., 2014 ApJS, IBEX - the first five years (2009-2013), V. 213.pdf.   For questions about this or any other release, please email [email protected].

Individual data directories and related skymaps by type may be accessed via the Map Select Panel page. Select the IBEX instrument of interest and processing options on the control panel on that page. Previous and next buttons allow you to move between years, or between energy levels and wrap around upon reaching the min or max option. 

To download the data release as a zip file or to go to a table of plot directories and data selections per instrument, click on one of the links below. To learn more about the structure and content of the files contained in the various released directories, a detailed description follows. 

Data Directory Structure and Naming Conventions

Within the data directories there are subdirectories associated with each type of skymap. The following keywords or phrases embedded into the subdirectory names indicate the processing options used to create the skymaps.

  • cg - Compton-Getting
  • tabular - Survival Probabilities
  • noSP - no Survival Probabilities
  • ram - Ram direction
  • antiram - Antiram direction
  • mapx - x identifies a particular set of orbits spanning 6 months. 
  • yearx - x identifies a particular set of orbits spanning one year. 
  • ...1to10combined... - directory containing the combined skymap for the 6 month maps. 
  • ...1to5combined... - directory containing the combined skymap for the yearly maps. 
  • VarEnergySCFrame - directories containing combined maps in the spacecraft frame and with variable energy. 
  • VarEnergyInertialFrame - directory containing combined skymaps in the inertial frame (with cg in the name) but using the flux100 variable energy txt files. 
  • MonoEnergyInertialFrame - directory containing combined skymaps in the inertial frame (with cg in the name) and using the Mono_80 fixed energy txt files. 

The 6-months and annual allsky maps are representative of the following IBEX orbits and dates:

Year Skymap # Start-End of Orbits or Arcs Dates
1 Map1 11-34 12/25/2008 – 06/25/2009
1 Map2 35-58 06/25/2009 – 12/25/2009
2 Map3 59-82 12/25/2009 – 06/26/2010
2 Map4 83-106 06/26/2010 – 12/26/2010
3 Map5 107-130a 12/26/2010 – 06/25/2011
3 Map6 130b-150a 06/25/2011 – 12/24/2011
4 Map7 150b-170a 12/24/2011 – 06/22/2012
4 Map8 170b-190b 06/22/2012 – 12/26/2012
5 Map9 191a-210b 12/26/2012 – 06/26/2013
5 Map10 211a-230b 06/26/2013 – 12/26/2013

Within each subdirectory there are a number of files associated with each sensor energy range that were used to create the skymap. File names that end with .txt (except -desc.txt) contain ASCII representations of particular data products. The data product with the file name "hv60.hide-trp-flux100-hi-2-ener.txt", for instance, identifies a flux (at 1 AU or at 100 AU if survival probabilities were applied) related file produced from the Hi instrument direct events (hide), triple (trp) coincidence types, energy sensor (2), with a type of 'energy' output data (ener), and that it is ASCII text data (.txt). The skymap plots with the .png suffix, are based on various calculations using these data products.

File Headers

Each individual data product file features a header describing the processing options used to create it. Here is the header from one such file. In the data file, the comment header would be followed by an array of numbers formatted per line based on the numbers 30x60 (30 rows by 60 columns) in the first line, or 30 rows of declination by 60 columns of right ascension values. Row 1 corresponds to the South Ecliptic Pole, while row 30 corresponds to the North Ecliptic Pole. The columns start at ecliptic longitude 0 and step through to ecliptic longitude 360; the values of the first and last columns in each map are identical. The layout of the columns corresponds to Solar Ecliptic East Longitude, right to left as seen outward by IBEX. The data value units are provided in either the "desc=" or "title=" entries.

# 27:30x60:-5.0x-5.0:7x6:0:7
# Sat Sep 1 19:53:41 2012
# flux_translate
#  -s matrix
#  -0 dec (addresses incr. downwards
#  -1 ra (addresses incr. left-right
#  h_min=0.000000 h_max=559.000000 h_title='Total Counts'
#  min_0=-90 max_0=90 num_0=30 title_0='Dec (deg)'
#  min_1=0 max_1=360 num_1=60 title_1='R.A. (deg)'
#  desc='flux (ENAs / cm^2 s sr keV)'
# skyframe=ECLIPJ2000 posframe=J2000
# chat=0 smearspread='0/0/0' calc='0/0/0'
# frame_epoch=914629271.873 resp_class=hi_triple zaxis_ra_deg=+274.476346 zaxis_dec_deg=-22.782473
# ram_ra_deg=+187.1048 ram_dec_deg=-3.4879 mtype_list='05,0A,0E' energy_list='12'
# rate_factor='1000' bg_rate=0.05870 bg_rvar=.0000012100 e_nominal='0.71'
# g_factor='0.000406114' inv_method='it3ptfive,20,0.5,f,h,1.5625' meth_opts='20,0.500000,f,h,1.562500'