, Volume 176, Issue 1-4, pp 115-124

The Heliospheric Termination Shock

Purchase on Springer.com

$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

The heliospheric termination shock is a vast, spheroidal shock wave marking the transition from the supersonic solar wind to the slower flow in the heliosheath, in response to the pressure of the interstellar medium. It is one of the most-important boundaries in the outer heliosphere. It affects energetic particles strongly and for this reason is a significant factor in the effects of the Sun on Galactic cosmic rays. This paper summarizes the general properties and overall large-scale structure and motions of the termination shock. Observations over the past several years, both in situ and remote, have dramatically revised our understanding of the shock. The consensus now is that the shock is quite blunt, is with the front, blunt side canted at an angle to the flow direction of the local interstellar plasma relative to the Sun, and is dynamical and turbulent. Much of this new understanding has come from remote observations of energetic charged particles interacting with the shock, radio waves and radiation backscattered from interstellar neutral atoms. The observations and the implications are discussed.