Ulysses observations of very different heliospheric structure during the declining phase of solar activity cycle 23

D. J. McComas, H. A. Elliott, J. T. Gosling, R. M. Skoug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the most recent observations from the solar wind experiment (SWOOPS) on the Ulysses spacecraft. In contrast to observations over the same locations in the declining phase of the previous solar activity cycle, these data show a more complicated heliospheric structure. Around the start of 2003, a band of slow solar wind resided at ∼20°-25°N latitude at all heliolongitudes. Subsequently, Ulysses failed to observe a well-organized corotating stream structure as it headed southward from the ecliptic plane, even though, in the previous solar cycle, Ulysses observed a regularly structured stream pattern. These observations show that the three-dimensional structure of the heliosphere can differ significantly from one solar cycle to the next. Finally, we show that the solar wind dynamic pressure has been relatively stable throughout 2005, indicating that the termination shock distance will also likely be relatively stable throughout 2006.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL09102
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ulysses observations of very different heliospheric structure during the declining phase of solar activity cycle 23'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this