Secondary Interstellar Oxygen in the Heliosphere: Numerical Modeling and Comparison with IBEX-Lo Data
Quantitative analysis of the interstellar heavy (oxygen and neon) atom fluxes obtained by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) suggests the existence of the secondary interstellar oxygen component. This component is formed near the heliopause due to charge exchange of interstellar oxygen ions with hydrogen atoms, as was predicted theoretically. A detailed quantitative analysis of the fluxes of interstellar heavy atoms is only possible with a model that takes into account both the filtration of primary and the production of secondary interstellar oxygen in the boundary region of the heliosphere as well as a detailed simulation of the motion of interstellar atoms inside the heliosphere. This simulation must take into account photoionization, charge exchange with the protons of the solar wind and solar gravitational attraction. This paper presents the results of modeling interstellar oxygen and neon atoms through the heliospheric interface and inside the heliosphere based on a three-dimensional kinetic-MHD model of the solar wind interaction with the local interstellar medium and a comparison of these results with the data obtained on the IBEX spacecraft.