Pioneer 11 Encounter: Preliminary Results from the Ames Research Center Plasma Analyzer Experiment

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Science  02 May 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4187, pp. 448-451
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4187.448


Pioneer 11 observations of the interaction of Jupiter's magnetosphere with the distant solar wind have confirmed the earlier Pioneer 10 observations of the great size and extreme variability of the outer magnetosphere. The nature of the plasma transitions across Jupiter's bow shock and magnetopause as observed on Pioneer 10 have also been confirmed on Pioneer 11. However, the northward direction of the Pioneer 11 outbound trajectory and the distance of the final magnetopause crossing (80 Jupiter radii) now suggest that Jupiter's magnetosphere is extremely broad with a half-thickness (normal to the ecliptic plane in the noon meridian) which is comparable to or greater than the sunward distance to the nose.