Actually the data showed neutral (i.e. non-ionized) atoms- I'm not sure what it means which is why I have been silent.
I find myself to be in pretty much the same boat by the way. I've been trying to do a bit of research on the actual detectors on the spacecraft and how they work. FYI, this paper
seems to be one of the better technical papers I've come across. You might also find it useful.
I'd like to see an (a better) overlay of the galaxy in white light with these new IBEX images. The press conference seemed to show one galaxy aligned image that showed a similar ring like structure, but not at quite the same angle if I understood it correctly. It also seems as though the IBEX emissions seem to occur over a much broader area. The fact it has "fine" structure however makes me think it could be galaxy structure related. I still have not seen or read the papers yet, so I'm doing some background research on the detectors in the mean time and ran across that paper that I thought you might find interesting.
It should be noted that while the atoms are now neutral, they may not have been so prior to interactions at the heliosphere. The fact that these particles go up to much higher velocities than the outbound particles would suggest that at least some of the kinetic energy of the detected neutral particle is external (to the solar system) in origin.
It seems to me that most logical source of energetic particles I can think of would be other stars in our immediate vicinity. I would expect some galactic alignment to occur, with perhaps some sort of offset related to the interstellar EM fields. The IBEX team did seem to believe that the angular alignment followed the external field lines rather than the physical galaxy, but I'd really like to see a better galaxy overlay before jumping to any conclusions. The fact they are neutral atoms at the point of detection does not mean they have always been neutral in the past, Unless they were ionized particles at some point during the interstellar traveling process, I don't see how galactic EM fields would have any affect on containing or directing neutral particles.