In Brief: South Pole Odyssey


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Ulysses completed its southern polar pass Nov. 5 bringing an end to the first phase of its mission. Already, NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) scientists report some preliminary findings. In the Sun's polar regions, the solar wind flows about twice as fast—at a velocity of about 750 km/s—as the speed at which the solar wind flows at lower latitudes. Cosmic ray intensity is also increased in this high latitude region, but not as much as scientists had predicted. Ulysses has also made some new observations about the Sun's magnetic field. From ground-based measurements, scientists had concluded that as the Sun rotates, the magnetic poles go around, indicating that the Sun would have a magnetic field with magnetic poles that are different from the Sun's north and south poles.