Assessment of detectability of neutral interstellar deuterium by IBEX observations

Дата и время публикации : 2013-06-19T09:59:06Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
M. A. Kubiak
M. Bzowski
J. M. Sokół
E. Möbius
D. F. Rodríguez
P. Wurz
D. J. McComas

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: Accepted for Astronomy & Astrophysics
Первичная категория: astro-ph.SR

Все категории : astro-ph.SR

Краткий обзор статьи: The abundance of deuterium in the interstellar gas in front of the Sun gives insight into the processes of filtration of neutral interstellar species through the heliospheric interface and potentially into the chemical evolution of the Galactic gas. We investigate the possibility of detection of neutral interstellar deuterium at 1 AU from the Sun by direct sampling by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). We simulate the flux of neutral interstellar D at IBEX for the actual measurement conditions. We assess the number of interstellar D atom counts expected during the first three years of IBEX operation. We also simulate observations expected during an epoch of high solar activity. In addition, we calculate the expected counts of D atoms from the thin terrestrial water layer, sputtered from the IBEX-Lo conversion surface by neutral interstellar He atoms. Most D counts registered by IBEX-Lo are expected to originate from the water layer, exceeding the interstellar signal by 2 orders of magnitude. However, the sputtering should stop once the Earth leaves the portion of orbit traversed by interstellar He atoms. We identify seasons during the year when mostly the genuine interstellar D atoms are expected in the signal. During the first 3 years of IBEX operations about 2 detectable interstellar D atoms are expected. This number is comparable with the expected number of sputtered D atoms registered during the same time intervals. The most favorable conditions for the detection occur during low solar activity, in an interval including March and April each year. The detection chances could be improved by extending the instrument duty cycle, e.g., by making observations in the special deuterium mode of IBEX-Lo.

Category: Physics