Comparison IBEX Map 1 vs Map 2
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Comparison IBEX Map 1 vs Map 2

January 10, 2013
The IBEX science team compares the first and second maps to reveal whether there are time variations in the Ribbon or the more distributed emissions around the ribbon. The map on the bottom represent the first six months of ENAs that the IBEX spacecraft collected between December 25, 2008 and June 18, 2009. › View map 1 larger The map on the top represent the second six months of ENAs that the IBEX spacecraft collected between June 18, 2009 and December 10, 2009.The large–scale structure is generally stable between the two sets of maps, meaning the overall sky pattern of ENAs and the ribbon are still there. However, there are some remarkable changes that show that the region producing the ribbon is also evolving over this short six month timescale. In the time period for the second set of maps, IBEX saw lower numbers of ENAs coming various parts of the sky, including the region that is producing the ribbon. The scientists are not yet sure why, but it may have something to do with the lower amount of solar wind that has been flowing outward for the past several years. These early results hint that the solar wind and the interstellar medium might be interacting in a thinner layer than many imagined. Overall, the intensity of ENAs has dropped 10% to 15%, and the hotspot has diminished and spread out along the ribbon. Credit: IBEX Science Team/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio/ESA

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