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Published March 1975 | public
Journal Article

Particles and fields in the outer solar system


Space probe missions to the outer planets can provide in situ measurements of the electromagnetic fields, the charged and neutral particles, and the cosmic rays in the unexplored regions of the outer solar system and the local interstellar medium. The physics of these distant regions is now known only through theoretical and model extrapolation of observations made near 1 AU and through remote sensing. These methods have inherently large uncertainties and shortcomings. We review here the relevant solar system physics, the astrophysics, and the plasma-physics questions associated with the media in the remote solar system, and we indicate what in situ measurements are needed to resolve remote sensing ambiguities, to verify or reject theoretical predictions, and to provide data not obtainable by existing methods.

Additional Information

© 1975 by Academic Press, Inc. This paper was written as part of a study of the scientific merits of a 1979 Uranus fly-by mission, performed by the Mariner Jupiter Uranus Science Advisory Committee at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The work was also supported in part by NASA grants NGR 05-002-160 (Caltech) and NGL 22-009-372 (MIT).

Additional details

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October 26, 2023