Solar cycle influence on the interaction of the solar wind with Local Interstellar Cloud*
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Department of Aeromechanics and Gas Dynamics, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, and Institute of Mechanics, Moscow 119899, Russia e-mail: email@example.com
2 Institute for Problems in Mechanics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Prospect Vernadskogo 101-1, Moscow 117526, Russia
3 Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
Accepted: 3 September 2004
We present results of a new time-dependent kinetic model of the H atom penetration through the solar wind – interstellar medium interaction region. A kinetic 6D (time, two dimensions in space, and three dimensions in velocity-space) equation for interstellar H atoms was solved self-consistently with time-dependent Euler equations for the solar wind and interstellar charged components. We study the response of the interaction region to 11-year solar cycle variations of the solar wind dynamic pressure. It is shown that the termination shock location varies within ±7 AU, the heliopause variation is ~4 AU, and the bow shock variation is negligible. At large heliocentric distances, the solar cycle induces 10–12% fluctuations in the number density of both primary and secondary interstellar H atoms and atoms created in the inner heliosheath. We underline the kinetic behavior of the fluctuations of the H atom populations. Closer to the Sun the fluctuations increase up to 30–35% at 5 AU due to solar cycle variation of the charge exchange rate. Solar cycle variations of interstellar H atoms in the heliospheric interface and within the heliosphere may have major importance for the interpretation of H atom observations inside the heliosphere.
Key words: Sun: solar wind / interplanetary medium / ISM : atoms / Sun: activity / hydrodynamics
© ESO, 2005