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IBEX Data Releases

Public Data

IBEX uses the Earth's orbital motion and repointing of the spacecraft to make periodic full maps of ENAs from the heliosphere. The IBEX Science Team will release data related to these new maps as soon as they are validated. The data and documentation for them can be found on links on this page.

Descriptions of the IBEX mission and sensors published in Space Science Reviews can be downloaded here:

Please note: IBEX sky maps, calibration data, and other products posted here are continually evolving and being improved as we learn more and improve our analysis techniques. The IBEX team is delighted to work with outside scientists who want to work with IBEX data; we urge you to email us at ibex_datareleases@lists.sr.unh.edu and collaborate directly with the IBEX Science Team.

Data Release 1

Time Series Data
The Time Series data files contain the count rates seen by the IBEX sensors in both direct event (DE) and histogram (HB) modes. The documentation file explains the details.
The Time Series data can be accessed by clicking here.
Map Data
The IBEX Map data files plot the IBEX Hi and Lo flux rates onto the celestial sphere, in J2000 ecliptic coordinates. The flux maps are sums over a six-month period (orbits 9-31) and are broken out by sensor energy band (Hi bands 2-6, Lo bands 5-7).
Also included are plots of Hydrogen and Oxygen rates based on time-of-flight measurements.
The Maps data can be accessed by clicking here.
Calibration Data
The Calibration Data files give all information about the IBEX sensors required to understand the collected data. The calibration data can be accessed by clicking here. The documentation file explains the details.

Data Release 2

The IBEX second data release consists of maps of the heliosphere in two epochs, plus maps made from the combination of the two epochs. The data release also contains a preprint of McComas et al. 2010, "The evolving outer heliosphere: Large-scale stability and time variations observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer".

The maps provided in the second data release were made using data taken taken with the IBEX Hi sensor in its energy bands 2 through 6. The first epoch's maps, found in directories Map1 and Map1_CG, were made using data from orbits 11 through 33 (December 2008 through June 2009); the second epoch's maps, found in directories Map2 and Map2_CG, were made using data from orbits 34 through 56 (June 2009 through December 2009). The combined maps were made with data from orbits 11 through 56.

The IBEX second data release can be accessed by clicking here.

Data Release 3

The IBEX third data release contains data used in the publication of Moebius et al., 2012, "Interstellar Gas Flow Parameters Derived from IBEX-Lo Observations in 2009 and 2010 - Analytical Analysis" and Bzowski et al., 2012, "Neutral interstellar helium parameters based on IBEX-Lo observations and test particle calculations". The data are the 6 degree resolution corrected histogram data and the observation time periods in one csv file for each orbit for both the angular fit analysis and the count rate analysis.

The IBEX third data release can be accessed by clicking here.

Data Release 4

The IBEX fourth data release contains data used in the publication of McComas et al., 2012, "The First Three Years of IBEX Observations and Our Evolving Heliosphere".

IBEX results, together with in situ observations from the Voyager-1 and -2 spacecraft currently in the inner heliosheath, other supporting observations from several spacecraft, and a broad theory and modeling effort are producing a revolutionary new understanding of the outer heliosphere and its interactions with the local interstellar medium. In this release, we provide new ENA observations from IBEX, covering its first, second and third years of science operations.

The following are available:

Mariner 10

Hydrogen Ly-alpha backscattered emision and Helium 584A backscattered solar emission from Roll Control Maneuver #7 of Mariner 10.

The following are available:
  • The rcm7 data file
  • rcm7.diff release and data layout description
  • Download the tar file
  • Main papers describing scientific results of data analysis:
    • a) Ajello, J.~M., "An interpretation of Mariner 10 helium (584 A) and hydrogen (1216 A) interplanetary emission observations", Astrophysical Journal, vol. 222, pp 1068-1079, 1978 doi=10.1086/156224
    • b) Ajello, J.~M. and Witt, N. and Blum, P.~W., "Four UV observations of the interstellar wind by Mariner 10 - Analysis with spherically symmetric solar radiation models", Astrophysical Journal, volume 73, pp260-271, 1979

Data Release 6

The IBEX sixth data release contains data and related information connected with the publication of Schwadron et al., 2014, "SOLAR RADIATION PRESSURE AND LOCAL INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM FLOW PARAMETERS FROM INTERSTELLAR BOUNDARY EXPLORER LOW ENERGY HYDROGEN MEASUREMENTS".


Neutral hydrogen atoms that travel into the heliosphere from the local interstellar medium (LISM) experience strong effects due to charge exchange and radiation pressure from resonant absorption and re-emission of Lya. The radiation pressure roughly compensates for the solar gravity. As a result, interstellar hydrogen atoms move along trajectories that are quite different than those of heavier interstellar species such as helium and oxygen, which experience relatively weak radiation pressure. Charge exchange leads to the loss of primary neutrals from the LISM and the addition of new secondary neutrals from the heliosheath. IBEX observations show clear effects of radiation pressure in a large longitudinal shift in the peak of interstellar hydrogen compared with that of interstellar helium. Here, we compare results from the Lee et al. interstellar neutral model with IBEX-Lo hydrogen observations to describe the distribution of hydrogen near 1 AU and provide new estimates of the solar radiation pressure. We find over the period analyzed from 2009 to 2011 that radiation pressure divided by the gravitational force (µ) has increased slightly from µ = 0.94 ± 0.04 in 2009 to µ = 1.01 ± 0.05 in 2011. We have also derived the speed, temperature, source longitude, and latitude of the neutral H atoms and find that these parameters are roughly consistent with those of interstellar He, particularly when considering the filtration effects that act on H in the outer heliosheath. Thus, our analysis shows that over the period from 2009 to 2011, we observe signatures of neutral H consistent with the primary distribution of atoms from the LISM and a radiation pressure that increases in the early rise of solar activity.

The following are available:

Data Release 7

IBEX - the First 5 Years of IBEX Observations (2009-2013)

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) returned its first five years of scientific observations from 2009 to 2013. In this release, we provide the backing data for the paper "McComas et al., 2014 ApJS, IBEX - the first five years (2009-2013)" in which are examined, validated, initially analyzed, and which provide to the broad scientific community a complete set of energetic neutral atom (ENA) observations for the first time. IBEX measures the fluxes of ENAs reaching 1 AU from sources in the outer heliosphere and most likely the very nearby interstellar space beyond the heliopause. The data, maps, and documentation provided in this release represent the fourth major release of the IBEX data (known as Data Release 7), incorporate important improvements, and should be used for future studies and as the citable reference for the current version of the IBEX data. In this study, we also examine five years of time evolution in the outer heliosphere and the resulting ENA emissions. These observations show a complicated variation with a general decrease in ENA fluxes from 2009 to 2012 over most regions of the sky, consistent with a 2–4 year recycle time for the previously decreasing solar wind flux. In contrast, the heliotail fluxes continue to decrease, again consistent with a significantly more distant source in the downwind direction. Finally, the Ribbon shows the most complicated time variations, with a leveling off in the southern hemisphere and continued decline in the northern one; these may be consistent with the Ribbon source being significantly farther away in the north than in the south. Together, the observations and results shown in this release expose the intricacies of our heliosphere’s interaction with the local interstellar medium.The following are available:

Data Release 8

Separation of the Ribbon from Globally Distributed Energetic Neutral Atom Flux Using the First 5 Years of IBEX Observations

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observes the IBEX ribbon, which stretches across much of the sky observed in energetic neutral atoms. The ribbon covers a narrow (∼ 20◦ − 50◦) region that is believed to be roughly perpendicular to the interstellar magnetic field. Superimposed on the IBEX ribbon is the globally distributed flux that is controlled by the processes and properties of the heliosheath. This is a second study that utilizes a previously developed technique to separate ENA emissions in the ribbon from the globally distributed flux. A transparency mask is applied over the ribbon and regions of high emissions. We then solve for the globally distributed flux using an interpolation scheme. Previously, ribbon separation techniques were applied to the first year of IBEX-Hi data at and above 0.71 keV. Here we extend the separation analysis down to 0.2 keV and to five years of IBEX data enabling first maps of the ribbon and the globally distributed flux across the full sky of ENA emissions. Our analysis shows the broadening of the ribbon peak at energies below 0.71 keV and demonstrates the apparent deformation of the ribbon in the nose and heliotail. We show global asymmetries of the heliosheath, including both deflection of the heliotail and differing widths of the lobes, in context of the direction, draping and compression of the heliospheric magnetic field. We discuss implications of the ribbon maps for the wide array of concepts that attempt to explain the ribbon’s origin. Thus, we present the 5 year separation of the IBEX ribbon from the globally distributed flux in preparation for a formal IBEX data release of ribbon and globally distributed flux maps to the Heliophysics community.

Data Release 9

Direct Sampling the Local Interstellar Medium

The interstellar medium arises from material ejected as stellar winds and from cataclysmic phenomena such as novae and supernovae. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) directly observes neutral atoms from the local interstellar medium surrounding the Sun that penetrate our heliosphere and survive into Earth’s orbit. This material is partially ionized and the ions and neutrals interact with each other, coupling these components together and allowing various aspects of the plasma interactions between the interstellar medium and heliosphere to also imprint themselves onto the observed neutral atom distributions.

IBEX interstellar neutral observations now span six years (2009-2014) and provide a wealth of new information about the very local interstellar medium and its heliospheric interaction. In this Astrophysical Journal Supplement special issue, we collect together 14 new studies that describe the IBEX interstellar neutral results over this interval and provide other supporting and relevant observational and theoretical results. The first paper in this issue, McComas et al. 2015, lists the titles and first authors of each of the contributions; that paper also provides an overview and summary of the entire special issue and recommends the best combined interstellar parameters currently available for other researchers to use for theory and modeling studies. Each of the papers in this special issue provides great insight into various detailed aspects of the observations, interpretations, and theories related to IBEX’s unique interstellar neutral data set.

Collectively, the 14 studies in this special issue, along with the prior papers, open a completely new window on the local interstellar medium in terms of its composition, properties, and even the processes at work in the interstellar region around our heliosphere. These observations provide the ground truth for understanding the interstellar medium more generally, which is critical for stellar and planetary system formation. They also inform the formation of astrospheres around other stars and a deeper understanding of the tenuous material throughout our galaxy and the other galaxies beyond.

Data Release 10

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has now operated in space for seven years and returned nearly continuous observations that have led to scientific discoveries and reshaped our entire understanding of the outer heliosphere and its interaction with the local interstellar medium. This data release extends prior work by adding the 2014-2015 data for the first time and improving prior correction methods. The data, maps, and documentation provided here represent the tenth major release of IBEX data, providing a complete seven year set of Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) observations from ~0.1 to 6 keV.

Data Release 11

The eleventh data release is an extension of the ninth release to observations of the Warm Breeze and ISN O. The release contains data supporting an extensive Warm Breeze study published in Kubiak et al. 2016, an in-depth study of interstellar neutral oxygen published in Schwadron et al. 2016 and a detailed study of secondary interstellar H and O distributions by Park et al. 2016.

Data Release 12 (last updated on 08/28/2019)

IBEX views the magnetosphere from the side making continuous ~7° x 360° vertical swaths of the sky (great circle scan) at a resolution of ~14 seconds per full swath, covering an overlapping energy range of ~0.01 to ~1.8 keV (IBEX-Lo) and ~0.3 to ~6 keV (IBEX-Hi). These swaths, which convolve spatial and temporal information, are used to construct composite ENA images of the Earth’s magnetosphere for different solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field conditions.

This release provides, for the first time, a validated set of orbits that supported 8 studies (McComas et al. 2011,2012b; Fuselier et al. 2010, 2015; Petrinec et al. 2011; Ogasawara et al. 2013, 2019; and Dayeh et al. 2015) performed over the last few years. The data comprises 21 orbits from IBEX-Hi 6° histogram ENA count data, which is primarily what have been used in IBEX magnetospheric studies. This data release demonstrates that IBEX provides a unique global viewing perspective of the magnetosphere that complements in situ measurements in understanding magnetospheric plasma regions and processes on micro and macro scales.

Data Release 13

The thirteenth data release includes all data used in the McComas et al. (2018) study “Heliosphere Responds to a Large Solar Wind Intensification: Decisive Observations from IBEX”. It includes the yearly ram and antiram maps corrected for Compton-Getting included in this study, which showed that our heliosphere responded to a large increase in solar wind output and pressure in the second half of 2014.

Data Release 14

The fourteenth data release includes the data used in the Schwadron et al. (2018) study "Time-Dependence of the IBEX Ribbon and the Globally Distributed Energetic Neutral Atom Flux Using the First 9 Years of Observations". It is the third ribbon separation study and the first to study time-evolution of the GDF separate from that of the IBEX ribbon.

Data Release 15

The fifteenth data release incorporates IBEX data products from the publication Dayeh et al. (2019) entitled “Variability in the Position of the IBEX Ribbon over Nine Years: More Observational Evidence for a Secondary ENA Source.”

This release provides combined annual Ram and anti-Ram sky maps in a ribbon-centered frame and incorporates two important ENA corrections: (1) Survival probability, which accounts for the survivability of ENAs from 100 to 1 au, and (2) Compton–Getting correction, which accounts for the spacecraft motion with respect to the measured ENAs. The release also includes combined maps for years 2009-through-2011, 2012 -2013, 2014- 2015, and 2016-2017.

Data Release 16

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has now operated in space for eleven years and returned nearly continuous observations that have led to scientific discoveries and reshaped our entire understanding of the outer heliosphere and its interaction with the local interstellar medium. This data release extends prior work by adding the 2016-2019 data for the first time and improving prior correction methods. The data, maps, and documentation provided here represent the sixteenth major release of IBEX data, providing a complete eleven year set of Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) observations from ~0.1 to 6 keV.

NASA Principal Investigator: Dave McComas
E/PO Lead: Lindsay Bartolone
Webmasters: Wendy Mills & Georgina Avalos
Last Updated: 6 June 2014
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