Ulysses solar wind plasma observations at high latitudes

P. Riley, S. J. Bame, B. L. Barraclough, W. C. Feldman, J. T. Gosling, G. W. Hoogeveen, D. J. McComas, J. L. Phillips, B. E. Goldstein, M. Neugebauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ulysses reached its peak northerly heliolatitude of 80.2°N on July 31st, 1995, and is now moving towards aphelion at 5.41 AU which it will reach in May, 1998. We summarize measurements from the solar wind plasma experiment, SWOOPS, emphasizing northern hemispheric observations but also providing southern and equatorial results for comparison. The solar wind momentum flux during Ulysses' fast pole-to-pole transit at solar minimum was significantly higher over the poles than at near-equatorial latitudes, suggesting a non-circular cross section for the heliosphere. Furthermore, modest asymmetries in wind speed, density, and mass flux were observed between the two hemispheres during the fast latitude scan. The solar wind was faster and less dense in the north than in the south. These asymmetries persist in the most recent high-and mid-latitude data but are less pronounced. As of July, 1996 the northern fast solar wind has lacked any strong stream interactions or shocks and, although a comprehensive search has not yet been made, no CMEs have yet been identified during this interval. On the other hand, Alfvénic, congressional, and pressure-balanced features are abundant at high latitudes. The most recent data, at 4 AU and 32°N, has begun to show the effects of solar rotation modulated features in the form of recurrent compressed regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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