Bonn 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm
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EP 5.4: Hauptvortrag
Mittwoch, 1. April 2020, 15:00–15:30, H-HS VIII
The journey of the Voyagers into the interstellar medium — •Klaus Scherer — Ruhr Universität Bochum, Institute for Theoretical Physics IV
The Voyager mission was original planned as planetary mission to visit Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 2 was then sent to Uranus and Neptune. The final destination of both spacecraft was after the crossing of the termination shock, that is the discontinuity where the supersonic solar wind becomes subsonic, to go beyond the heliopause, i.e. the tangential discontinuity separating the solar wind from the interstellar medium. Voyager 1 has crossed the heliopause in 2012 and recently Voyager 2 passed also through it, so that both are in the interstellar medium now. It is very interesting to compare the two crossings, because of the large separation of the two spacecraft. Moreover, only Voyager 2 has an operating plasma instrument on-board, while that of Voyager 1 was damaged during the Jupiter flyby. I will present a short history and the highlights of these missions, especially with respect of the heliopause crossing of Voyager 2.