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Paper: The Heliosphere as a Probe of Small Scale Structure
Volume: 365, SINS — Small Ionized and Neutral Structures in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium
Page: 227
Authors: Frisch, P.C.
Abstract: The heliosphere serves as a probe of interstellar material (ISM) close to the Sun. Measurements of ISM inside and outside of the heliosphere show that we reside in typical warm partially ionized ISM that can be successfully modeled using equilibrium photoionization models. The heliosphere wake leaves a ~ 200 × 1000 AU trail in space of low density, n < 0.05 cm−3, cooling plasma comingled with ISM. The closest ISM flows through the solar vicinity at VLSR ~ 20 km s−1, with an upwind direction towards the Scorpius-Centaurus Association. Clouds in this flow have thicknesses typically < 1 pc. The flow is decelerating, with velocity variations of ~ 3 – 4 km s−1 pc−1. The α Oph sightline shows evidence of a cold, possibly tiny, cloud.
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