Is Voyager 1 inside an interstellar flux transfer event?

N. A. Schwadron, D. J. McComas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Plasma wave observations from Voyager 1 have recently shown large increases in plasma density, to about 0.1 cm-3, consistent with the density of the local interstellar medium. However, corresponding magnetic field observations continue to show the spiral magnetic field direction observed throughout the inner heliosheath. These apparently contradictory observations may be reconciled if Voyager 1 is inside an interstellar flux transfer event - similar to flux transfer events routinely seen at the Earth's magnetopause. If this were the case, Voyager 1 remains inside the heliopause and based on the Voyager 1 observations we can determine the polarity of the interstellar magnetic field for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL33
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: general
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • Sun: heliosphere
  • cosmic rays
  • local interstellar matter


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