Sunday, January 17, 2021

Voyager probes detect new form of cosmic ray burst from the Sun

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the Voyager probes still contribute to science more than 40 years later and billions of miles from home. The researchers have detected a new form of cosmic electron burst using instruments aboard Voyager 1 and 2. Coronal mass ejections from the Sun created shock waves that first manifested as electron waves at speeds close to light, followed by plasma waves and then shock waves themselves.

The electrons appear to have been propelled after reflecting a strong magnetic field at the edge of the shock wave, with wave motion and interstellar magnetic field lines accelerating and guiding the electrons, respectively. The concept is not new (it happens with solar winds), but scientists haven’t seen interstellar shock waves in a new medium like this.

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