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New Horizons Flyby Modeling Challenge
2D MHD results from SWMF-OH - Drs. Bertalan Zieger and Merav Opher(Boston University), Gabor Toth and Tamas Gombosi(University of Michigan)
The plots below shows preliminary results from a simulation using the Outer Heliosphere (OH) module of the Space Weather Modeling Framework(SWMF).
The code and the OH module is 3D MHD multi-fluid model. It evolves one ionized and up to four neutral H species as well as the magnetic field of the sun and interstellar magnetic field. For this particular calculation, the code modeled just the solar equatorial plane and two neutral species.
The ions and the magnetic field are driven by OMNI observations at 1AU. The usual trick is used to fill in the full circle by assuming that the solution does not change (much) for a Carrington rotation. The neutrals are driven by an inflow boundary in the negative X direction at 50AU distance. The neutrals are represented by 2 Maxwellian populations (fluids) and the densities, velocities and temperatures at the 50AU inflow boundary are based on previous 3D equilibrium model runs of the outer heliosphere. The model is run in a time accurate mode in the inertial HGI coordinate system. Spherical expansion effects are properly taken into account for the ions and the solar magnetic field. The neutrals, on the other hand, flow parallel with the equatorial plane. The ions and neutrals interact via the collision terms described in the papers by Merav Opher et al (see below).

The first pair of plots shows the radial wind speed in the equatorial plane at the time of closest approach in the left frame, and the solar wind proton temperature in the right frame. The black plus sign is Pluto.


The next set of plots shows timelines of the solar wind number density, velocity, temperature and Phi component of magnetic field as a function of time at New Horizons between May 1, 2015 and August 9, 2015.



This 2D movie shows the evolution of the solar wind velocity in the solar equatorial plane from January 28 to September 16, 2015. This is in HGI coordinates. Pluto is located at approximately x=-29,y=-15 in this movie.



More information about this model can be found in the following papers:
M. Opher, E. C. Stone, and P. C. Liewer, “Effects of a Local Interstellar Magnetic Field on Voyager 1 and 2 Observations”, The Astrophysical Journal, 640, L71 (2006).
M. Opher, E. C. Stone, and P. C. Liewer, “Effects of a Local Interstellar Magnetic Field on Voyager 1 and 2 Observations”, The Astrophysical Journal, 640, L71 (2006).
M. Opher, E. C. Stone, and T. I. Gombosi, “The Orientation of the Local Interstellar Magnetic Field”, Science, 316, 875 (2007).
M. Opher, F. Alouani Bibi, G. Toth, J. D. Richardson, V.V. Izmodenov, and T. I. Gombosi, “A Strong highly-tilted Interstellar Magnetic Field near the Solar System”, Nature, 462, 1036 (2009).
G. Toth, et al. (including M. Opher), “Adaptive Numerical Algorithms in Space Weather Modeling”, Journal of Computational Science, 231, 870 (2012).
B. Zieger, M. Opher, N. A. Schwadron, D. J. McComas, and G. Toth, “A slow bow shock ahead of the heliosphere”, Geophysics Research Letters, 40, Issue 12, 2923 (2013).
Opher, M., Drake, J. F., Zieger, B., Gombosi, T. I. Magnetized Jets Driven by the Sun: The Structure of the Heliosphere Revisited, Astrophysical Journal Letter, 800, L28 (2015).


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