N. A. Schwadron, J. D. Richardson, L. F. Burlaga, D. J. McComas, E. Moebius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Determining the direction of the local interstellar magnetic field (LISMF) is important for understanding the heliosphere's global structure, the properties of the interstellar medium, and the propagation of cosmic rays in the local galactic medium. Measurements of interstellar neutral atoms by Ulysses for He and by SOHO/SWAN for H provided some of the first observational insights into the LISMF direction. Because secondary neutral H is partially deflected by the interstellar flow in the outer heliosheath and this deflection is influenced by the LISMF, the relative deflection of H versus He provides a plane - the so-called B-V plane in which the LISMF direction should lie. Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) subsequently discovered a ribbon, the center of which is conjectured to be the LISMF direction. The most recent He velocity measurements from IBEX and those from Ulysses yield a B-V plane with uncertainty limits that contain the centers of the IBEX ribbon at 0.7-2.7 keV. The possibility that Voyager 1 has moved into the outer heliosheath now suggests that Voyager 1's direct observations provide another independent determination of the LISMF. We show that LISMF direction measured by Voyager 1 is >40.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL20
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • local interstellar matter


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