Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Magnetic Fields, Solar System, Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight, Voyager > Voyager Observes Magnetic Field Fluctuations In Heliosheath

Voyager Observes Magnetic Field Fluctuations In Heliosheath


As they near the outer reaches of the solar system, for the past several years the two Voyager spacecraft have been sending back observations that challenge scientists’ views of the physics at the edge of the heliosphere, the bubble created by charged particles flowing outward from the Sun. A new study looks at magnetic field fluctuations and cosmic ray intensity observed by Voyager I.

In 2004, Voyager I crossed the termination shock, the region where the solar wind begins to slow as it interacts with the interstellar medium. Just outside the termination shock is the heliosheath, where the solar wind continues to slow, reaching a stagnation region where solar wind speed drops to zero. Burlaga and Ness studied the magnetic field observed by Voyager I during 2010, when the spacecraft was moving through this stagnation region. Their analysis shows that magnetic field fluctuations outside the termination shock were primarily compressive fluctuations in field strength along the direction of the motion of the planets around the Sun. The fluctuations were observed on time scales of several hours.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2012/2012-10-29.shtml#one

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