Special Reports

Electron Plasma Oscillations Upstream of the Solar Wind Termination Shock

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Science  23 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5743, pp. 2025-2027
DOI: 10.1126/science.1117425

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Electron plasma oscillations have been detected upstream of the solar wind termination shock by the plasma wave instrument on the Voyager 1 spacecraft. These waves were first observed on 11 February 2004, at a heliocentric radial distance of 91.0 astronomical units, and continued sporadically with a gradually increasing occurrence rate for nearly a year. The last event occurred on 15 December 2004, at 94.1 astronomical units, just before the spacecraft crossed the termination shock. Since then, no further electron plasma oscillations have been observed, consistent with the spacecraft having crossed the termination shock into the heliosheath.

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