Analysis of the IBEX-Lo interstellar hydrogen fluxes collected in 2009-2018 as a tool for sensing of the solar radiation pressure and the hydrogen ionization rate
The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has been measuring interstellar hydrogen fluxes at 1 au since 2009. In this paper, we analysed all available data obtained with the IBEX-Lo instrument at energies 11-41 eV using our numerical kinetic model of the interstellar hydrogen distribution in the heliosphere. We performed a fitting of the data to find independently the model parameters: the ratio of the solar radiation pressure to the solar gravitation (μ0), ionization rate of hydrogen atoms at 1 au (β0), parameters of the secondary interstellar atoms at 70 au from the Sun, which provide the best agreement with the data by minimization of metric χ2. We also analysed temporal variations of the ratio of the fluxes measured in a fixed direction at energy bin 1 and energy bin 2. It is found that in 2009-2011 and 2017-2016 the ratio provided by the model is smaller than in the IBEX-Lo data, while in 2012-2015, oppositely, the model ratio is larger compared to the data. This might be caused by the incorrect separation of the measured fluxes between energy channels in the data, or by some additional physical factors that are omitted in the model. Understanding this issue may be important for the preparation of future Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe mission. At this stage, we relied on the sum of the fluxes measured in energy bins 1 and 2 for comparison to model predictions.