Ulysses' return to the slow solar wind

D. J. McComas, S. J. Bame, B. L. Barraclough, W. C. Feldman, H. O. Funsten, J. T. Gosling, P. Riley, R. Skoug, A. Balogh, R. Forsyth, B. E. Goldstein, M. Neugebauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


After ten long years of wandering the uncharted seas, Ulysses returned to his home port of Ithaca. Similarly, after its unprecedented five year odyssey through the previously uncharted regions over the poles of the Sun, the Ulysses spacecraft has returned to the slow, variable solar wind which dominates observations near the ecliptic plane. Solar wind plasma and magnetic field observations from Ulysses are used to examine this return from the fast polar solar wind through the region of solar wind variability and into a region of slow solar wind from the low latitude streamer belt. As it journeyed equatorward, Ulysses encountered a large corotating interaction region and associated rarefaction region on each solar rotation. Due to these repeated interactions, Ulysses also observed numerous shocks, all of which have tilts that are consistent with those expected for shocks generated by corotating interaction regions. Eventually, Ulysses emerged into a region of unusually steady slow solar wind, indicating that the tilt of the streamer belt with respect to the solar heliographic equator was smaller than the width of the band of slow solar wind from the streamer belt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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