Separation of the Ribbon from Globally Distributed Energetic Neutral Atom Flux Using the First 5 Years of IBEX Observations
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The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observes the IBEX ribbon, which stretches across much of the sky observed in energetic neutral atoms. The ribbon covers a narrow (∼ 20◦ − 50◦) region that is believed to be roughly perpendicular to the interstellar magnetic field. Superimposed on the IBEX ribbon is the globally distributed flux that is controlled by the processes and properties of the heliosheath. This is a second study that utilizes a previously developed technique to separate ENA emissions in the ribbon from the globally distributed flux. A transparency mask is applied over the ribbon and regions of high emissions. We then solve for the globally distributed flux using an interpolation scheme. Previously, ribbon separation techniques were applied to the first year of IBEX-Hi data at and above 0.71 keV. Here we extend the separation analysis down to 0.2 keV and to five years of IBEX data enabling first maps of the ribbon and the globally distributed flux across the full sky of ENA emissions. Our analysis shows the broadening of the ribbon peak at energies below 0.71 keV and demonstrates the apparent deformation of the ribbon in the nose and heliotail. We show global asymmetries of the heliosheath, including both deflection of the heliotail and differing widths of the lobes, in context of the direction, draping and compression of the heliospheric magnetic field. We discuss implications of the ribbon maps for the wide array of concepts that attempt to explain the ribbon’s origin. Thus, we present the 5 year separation of the IBEX ribbon from the globally distributed flux in preparation for a formal IBEX data release of ribbon and globally distributed flux maps to the Heliophysics community.
The first number in the first line of each data file gives the number of lines taken up by the header followed by the number of rows times the number of columns in the data (i.e. 30X60 indicates 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.