A test for whether or not Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause
Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014
©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 41, Issue 15, pages 5325–5330, 16 August 2014
How to Cite
2014), A test for whether or not Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 5325–5330, doi:10.1002/2014GL060781., and (
- Issue published online: 2 SEP 2014
- Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 JUL 2014 09:50PM EST
- Manuscript Revised: 3 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUL 2014
- Manuscript Received: 5 JUN 2014
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently in the vicinity of the heliopause, which separates the heliosphere from the local interstellar medium. There has been a precipitous decrease in particles accelerated in the heliosphere and a substantial increase in galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The evidence is unclear, however, as to whether Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause into the local interstellar medium or remains within the heliosheath. In this Letter we propose a test that will determine whether Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause: If Voyager 1 remains in the heliosheath, the high densities observed must be due to compressed solar wind, with the consequence that Voyager 1 will encounter another current sheet, where the polarity of the magnetic field reverses. Voyager 1 observations can be used to predict that the next current sheet crossing is likely to occur during 2015.