Collisional heating of interplanetary gas: Fokker-Planck treatment

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Abstract

Interstellar gas streaming through the solar system undergoes both elastic collisions with solar wind ions and destructive, ionizing processes. The Boltzmann equation is set up, with linear Fokker-Planck terms describing the glancing elastic collisions. Solutions combining the dynamical effects of the central force field and the diffusion in velocity space are derived, appropriate to cool gas. For the He component of the streaming gas, if initially at 100 K, the collisional heating dominates inside 2 a.u. upstream and 5 a.u. downstream. A modified formula is given for the density in the downstream wake, as enhanced by gravitational focussing. Calculations of the helium resonant radiation backscatter require substantial modification. © 1975.

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Wallis, M. K. (1975). Collisional heating of interplanetary gas: Fokker-Planck treatment. Planetary and Space Science, 23(3), 419–430. https://doi.org/10.1016/0032-0633(75)90116-6

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