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Observations of the heliosheath and solar wind near the termination shock by Voyager 2

Burlaga, L. F. and Ness, N. F. and Acuña, M. H. and Richardson, J. D. and Stone, E. C. and McDonald, F. B. (2009) Observations of the heliosheath and solar wind near the termination shock by Voyager 2. Astrophysical Journal, 692 (2). pp. 1125-1130. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/692/2/1125.

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This paper describes the principal features of 24 hr averages of the magnetic field strength variations B(t) and their relationships to the plasma and energetic particles observed prior to and after the crossing of the termination shock (TS) by Voyager 2 (V2). The solar wind (pre-TS crossing) and heliosheath (post-TS crossing) data extend from day of year (DOY) 1 through 241, 2007 and from 2007 DOY 245 through 2008 DOY 80, respectively. In the solar wind, two merged interaction regions (MIRs) were observed in which the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure in the solar wind was relatively low. Strong magnetic fields and low values of beta were also observed just prior to its crossing of the TS. The predicted correlation between peaks in the intensity of energetic particles in the solar wind when V2 crossed the heliospheric current sheet from positive to negative magnetic polarity in the solar wind was not observed. In the heliosheath, V2 observed a feature characterized by large enhancements of the density N and the proton temperature T, a small increase in speed V, and a depression in B. The distributions of 24 hr averages of B and beta were approximately log-normal in both the solar wind and the heliosheath. A unipolar region was observed for 73 days in the heliosheath, as the heliospheric current sheet moved toward the equatorial plane to latitudes lower than V2.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Burlaga, L. F.0000-0002-5569-1553
Richardson, J. D.0000-0003-4041-7540
Stone, E. C.0000-0002-2010-5462
Additional Information:© 2009 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 2 (2009 February 20); received 2008 August 29; accepted for publication 2008 October 28; published 2009 February 23. T. McClanahan and S. Kramer provided outstanding support in the processing of the data. Daniel Berdischevsky computed the zero-level corrections for the instrument for the data in this paper and helped solve the problems created by the erroneous decoding of a spacecraft systems command sent to V2 in 2006 that resulted in an unfavorable reorientation of the outboard sensor triad and damage to the instrument. N. F. Ness was partially supported by a NASA Grant to CUA.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:magnetic fields; MHD; shock waves; solar wind
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2009-34
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090416-121953799
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14001
Deposited On:17 Apr 2009 15:34
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:42

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