FIGURE 1. Fantastic voyage.

From the following article:

Planetary Science: Over the edge?

Len A. Fisk

Nature 426, 21-22(6 November 2003)

doi:10.1038/426021a

BACK TO ARTICLE

Voyagers 1 and 2 have flown on different trajectories past the outer planets of the Solar System, and Voyager 1 may1 — or may not2 — have reached the termination shock, at 85 au from the Sun. The termination shock occurs where the supersonic plasma of the solar wind begins to slow down as it encounters the interstellar medium at the bounds of the Solar System. The solar wind and the interstellar medium do not merge easily, so further out, beyond the termination shock, there is the true boundary between the solar wind and the interstellar medium — the heliopause. Further out still, if the Solar System is itself moving supersonically relative to the interstellar medium, there may be a large bow shock.

NASA/VOYAGER

BACK TO ARTICLE