NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission has operated in space for a full solar activity cycle (Solar Cycle 24), and IBEX observations have exposed the global three-dimensional structure of the heliosphere and its interaction with the very local interstellar medium for the first time.
Now over seven years into its journey beyond the heliopause, Voyager 1 continues to return unprecedented observations of energetic particles, magnetic fields, and plasma emissions from the very local interstellar medium.
Our heliosphere is formed by the interaction between the dynamic solar wind (SW) and partially ionized, local interstellar medium. “Pickup ions” (PUIs) are produced by charge exchange between SW ions and interstellar neutral atoms and propagate with the SW into the outer heliosphere.
The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observes the "ribbon" of enhanced energetic neutral atom (ENA) fluxes from the outer heliosphere. The ribbon flux is likely formed from the neutralization of energetic pickup ions (PUIs) gyrating in the interstellar magnetic field outside the heliopause.
The University Space Physics group and David J. McComas, a professor in the astrophysical sciences department, contributed to building a record-breaking spacecraft, which is providing new, crucial information about the solar winds and particles from the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
Since the discovery of the Moon’s asymmetric ejecta cloud, the origin of its sunward-canted density enhancement has not been well understood.
Integrating simultaneous in situ measurements of magnetic field fluctuations, precipitating electrons, and ultraviolet auroral emissions, we find that Alfvénic acceleration mechanisms are responsible for Ganymede's auroral footprint tail. Magnetic field perturbations exhibit enhanced Alfvénic activity with Poynting fluxes of ~100 mW/m2.
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft has flown into the densest, previously unexplored, innermost region of our solar system’s zodiacal cloud. While PSP does not have a dedicated dust detector, multiple instruments on the spacecraft are sensitive to the effects of meteoroid bombardment.
A Princeton-led mission to study the interaction of the solar wind with the ancient cast-off winds of other stars, and the fundamental process of particle acceleration in space, has completed a critical NASA review and is now moving closer toward a scheduled launch in 2024.
The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment aboard Juno observed accelerated proton populations connected to Io's footprint tail aurora. While accelerated electron populations have been previously linked with Io's auroral footprint tail aurora, we present new evidence for proton acceleration due to Io's Alfvénic interaction with Jupiter's...