Special Reports

Crossing the Termination Shock into the Heliosheath: Magnetic Fields

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Science  23 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5743, pp. 2027-2029
DOI: 10.1126/science.1117542

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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. An estimate of the compression ratio of the magnetic field strength B (± standard error of the mean) across the shock is B2/B1 = 3.05 ± 0.04, but ratios in the range from 2 to 4 are admissible. The average B in the heliosheath from day 1 through day 110 of 2005 was 0.136 ± 0.035 nanoteslas, ∼4.2 times that predicted by Parker's model for B. The magnetic field in the heliosheath from day 361 of 2004 through day 110 of 2005 was pointing away from the Sun along the Parker spiral. The probability distribution of hourly averages of B in the heliosheath is a Gaussian distribution. The cosmic ray intensity increased when B was relatively large in the heliosheath.

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