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Astron. Astrophys. 316, 511-518 (1996)

Interstellar atom and pick-up ion fluxes along the Ulysses flight-path

Urs Mall1,2, Horst Fichtner3, and Daniel Rucinski4

1 Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2 Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA
3 Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-2431, USA
4 Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18 A, PL-00716 Warsaw, Poland

Received 8 September 1995 / Accepted 11 November 1995

Abstract. Neutral atom and pick-up ion flux computations using a hot model for hydrogen, helium, oxygen and neon along the trajectory of the Ulysses spacecraft, including predictions for the Extended Mission are reported and discussed. The feasibility of using absolute pick-up ion fluxes and pick-up ion flux ratios to derive the orientation of the heliospheric upwind-downwind axis is investigated. Finally, the ratio of pick-up ion and neutral fluxes for helium and oxygen expected to be seen by the Ulysses spacecraft are presented and their relevance for a determination of the long- and short-term averages of the total ionization frequencies of neutrals is discussed.

Key words: interplanetary medium - ISM: general - solar neighborhood

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Last change: December 30, 1996
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