The Effects of a Local Interstellar Magnetic Field on Voyager 1 and 2 Observations

  title={The Effects of a Local Interstellar Magnetic Field on Voyager 1 and 2 Observations},
  author={Merav Opher and Edward C. Stone and Paulette C. Liewer},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal Letters},
  pages={L71 - L74}
We show that an interstellar magnetic field can produce a north-south asymmetry in the solar wind termination shock. Using Voyager 1 and 2 measurements, we suggest that the angle α between the interstellar wind velocity and the magnetic field is 30° < α < 60°. The distortion of the shock is such that termination shock particles could have streamed outward along the spiral interplanetary magnetic field connecting Voyager 1 to the shock when the spacecraft was within ~2 AU of the shock. The shock… 

An asymmetric solar wind termination shock

The intensity of 4–5 MeV protons accelerated by the shock near Voyager 2 was three times that observed concurrently by Voyager 1, indicating differences in the shock at the two locations.

Orientation of the local interstellar magnetic field inferred from Voyagers' positions

Both Voyagers crossed already the termination shock (TS); Voyager 2 (V2) about 10 AU closer to the Sun than Voyager 1 (V1). The 10 AU difference in the distance reveals the scale of the shock


Plasma wave observations from Voyager 1 have recently shown large increases in plasma density, to about 0.1 cm−3, consistent with the density of the local interstellar medium. However, corresponding


We propose that magnetic reconnection at the heliopause (HP) only occurs where the interstellar magnetic field points nearly anti-parallel to the heliospheric field. By using large-scale

Termination Shock Asymmetries as Seen by the Voyager Spacecraft: The Role of the Interstellar Magnetic Field and Neutral Hydrogen

We show that asymmetries of the termination shock due to the influence of the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF) are considerably smaller in the presence of neutral hydrogen atoms, which tend to


We present new results from three-dimensional simulations of the solar wind interaction with the local interstellar medium (LISM) using recent observations by NASA's Interstellar Boundary EXplorer

The structure of the Heliopause

Voyager 1 has explored the solar wind-interstellar medium interaction region between the Terminal Shock and Heliopause, following the intensity distribution of the shock accelerated anomalous

Confronting Observations and Modeling: The Role of the Interstellar Magnetic Field in Voyager 1 and 2 Asymmetries

Magnetic effects are ubiquitous and known to be crucial in space physics and astrophysical media. We have now the opportunity to probe these effects in the outer heliosphere with the two spacecraft

The Orientation of the Local Interstellar Magnetic Field

Observations of radio emissions and energetic particle streaming with extensive three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic computer simulations of magnetic field draping over the heliopause show that the plane of the local interstellar field is ∼60° to 90° from the galactic plane.

Cool heliosheath plasma and deceleration of the upstream solar wind at the termination shock

The termination shock is a weak, quasi-perpendicular shock that heats the thermal plasma very little and an unexpected finding is that the flow is still supersonic with respect to the thermal ions downstream of the termination shock.



Crossing the Termination Shock into the Heliosheath: Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields measured by Voyager 1 show that the spacecraft crossed or was crossed by the termination shock on about 16 December 2004 at 94.0 astronomical units, and the cosmic ray intensity increased when B was relatively large in the heliosheath.

Heliosphere in the magnetized local interstellar medium' Results of a three-dimensional MHD

The results of a three-dimensional adaptive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model of the interaction of a magnetized solar wind with a magnetized very local interstellar medium in the presence of neutral

Probing the Edge of the Solar System: Formation of an Unstable Jet-Sheet

The Voyager spacecraft is now approaching the edge of the solar system. Near the boundary between the solar system and the interstellar medium we find that an unstable "jet-sheet" forms. The

Magnetic Effects at the Edge of the Solar System: MHD Instabilities, the de Laval Nozzle Effect, and an Extended Jet

To model the interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar wind, magnetic fields must be included. Recently, Opher et al. found that by including the solar magnetic field in a

Influence of the interstellar magnetic field direction on the shape of the global heliopause

In this paper we study the influence of the angle between the local interstellar medium velocity and magnetic field vectors on the interaction of this medium with the solar wind. Both winds are

Deflection of the Interstellar Neutral Hydrogen Flow Across the Heliospheric Interface

The neutral hydrogen flow is found to be deflected relative to the helium flow by about 4°, the most likely explanation of this deflection is a distortion of the heliosphere under the action of an ambient interstellar magnetic field.

Direction of the interstellar H atom inflow in the heliosphere : Role of the interstellar magnetic field

Recently Lallement et al. (2005, Science, 307, 1447) reported that the direction of the flow of interstellar neutral hydrogen in the heliosphere is deflected by ∼4° from the direction of the pristine

Physics of the outer heliosphere

Major advances in the physics of the outer heliosphere are reviewed for the 1987-1990 time frame. Emphasis is placed on five broad topics: the detailed structure of the solar wind at large

Voyager 1 Explores the Termination Shock Region and the Heliosheath Beyond

The intensity of anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) helium did not peak at the shock, indicating that the ACR source is not in the shock region local to Voyager 1, and the intensities of ∼10–megaelectron volt electrons, ACRs, and galactic cosmic rays have steadily increased since late 2004.