Mitor 2015-2016


Spectral Analysis of the Solar Wind beyond the Termination shock - Interstellar Medium/Heliosphere Interactions

The solar wind fills the heliosphere surrounding the Sun with a supersonic flow of magnetized plasma. At the border of the heliosphere, after the termination shock, the solar wind meets the denser interstellar medium. Turbulence in the solar heliosphere plays a relevant role in several aspects of plasma behaviour in space, such as solar wind generation, high-energy particle acceleration, plasma heating, and cosmic ray propagation. Most of the information about the solar wind structure comes from spacecrafts that are mainly limited to a few astronomical units, so that much less is known about the structure of the external part of the heliosphere and the interaction of the solar wind with the interstellar medium. The Voyagers 1 and 2 have already crossed the termination shock (Voyager 1 in 2004, Voyager 2 in 2007), and their data show that the structure of the heliopause is much different from what was expected from most models. Our goal is to analyse the Voyager data about the plasma velocity and density and the magnetic field data in order to extract spectral information about different cascade dynamics in the solar wind beyond the termination shock.


MIT Kavli Center for Astrpphysics and Space Science:

  • J. Belcher
  • J. D. Richardson

Politecnico di Torino:

  • M. Iovieno
  • D. Tordella
  • E. Magli


Approved: February 11, 2015.