Interstellar atoms in the heliospheric interface

V. V. Izmodenov

Department of Aeromechanics and Gas Dynamics, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob'evy Gory, Moscow, 119899, Russia, izmod@ipmnet.ru/Fax: +7-095-9382048

In order to enter the heliosphere the interstellar atoms pass through the heliospheric interface, the region of the solar wind and interstellar plasma interaction. In the interface, the interstellar hydrogen atoms strongly interact with the LISM plasma component by charge exchange. This interaction results in the modification of both plasma and interstellar atom flows in the heliospheric interface. Thus, the atoms penetrate into the heliosphere disturbed. This opens possibility to use interstellar atoms and their derivatives - pickup ions and anomalous cosmic rays - for remote diagnostics of the heliospheric interface plasma structure. However, interpretations of remote experiments are critical to accurate theoretical models.

In this presentation, advanced self-consistent models of the heliospheric interface will be reviewed. Evolution of the atom velocity distribution in the heliospheric interface will be discussed with the emphasis on interpretations of present and future space experiments.