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Author Richardson, J. D. ♦ Burlaga, L. F. ♦ Drake, J. F. ♦ Hill, M. E. ♦ Opher, M.
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY ♦ COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS ♦ COMPRESSION ♦ DISTRIBUTION ♦ EXCEPTIONS ♦ HELIOSPHERE ♦ INTERSTELLAR SPACE ♦ MAGNETIC FIELDS ♦ MAGNETIC RECONNECTION ♦ SOLAR WIND ♦ SUN ♦ VOYAGER SPACE PROBES
Abstract Voyager 1 ( V1 ) has passed through the heliosheath and is in the local interstellar medium. Voyager 2 ( V2 ) has been in the heliosheath since 2007. The role of reconnection in the heliosheath is under debate; compression of the heliospheric current sheets (HCS) in the heliosheath could lead to rapid reconnection and a reconfiguration of the magnetic field topology. This paper compares the expected and actual amounts of time the Voyager spacecraft observe each magnetic sector and the number of HCS crossings. The predicted and observed values generally agree well. One exception is at Voyager 1 in 2008 and 2009, where the distribution of sectors is more equal than expected and the number of HCS crossings is small. Two other exceptions are at V1 in 2011–2012 and at V2 in 2012, when the spacecraft are in the opposite magnetic sector less than expected and see fewer HCS crossings than expected. These features are consistent with those predicted for reconnection, and consequently searches for other reconnection signatures should focus on these times.
ISSN 0004637X
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2016-11-10
Publisher Place United States
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Volume Number 831
Issue Number 2


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