Magnetic Field Observations as Voyager 1 Entered the Heliosheath Depletion Region

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Abstract

Magnetic fields measured by Voyager 1 (V1) show that the spacecraft crossed the boundary of an unexpected region five times between days 210 and ˜238 in 2012. The magnetic field strength B increased across this boundary from ≈0.2 to ≈0.4 nanotesla, and B remained near 0.4 nanotesla until at least day 270, 2012. The strong magnetic fields were associated with unusually low counting rates of >0.5 mega-electron volt per nuclear particle. The direction of B did not change significantly across any of the five boundary crossings; it was very uniform and very close to the spiral magnetic field direction, which was observed throughout the heliosheath. The observations indicate that V1 entered a region of the heliosheath (the heliosheath depletion region), rather than the interstellar medium.

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