In the last months Voyager 1 has experienced a dramatic drop in the cosmic ray radiation, which was been exceptionally uniform for the last 10 years, except for the past july 28 and august 14 events, when the radiation suddenly had big drops. After each of those events, the radiation temporarily went back to normal, until we reach september, when the radiation seems to drop for good to the real galactic background

Astrophysicists think this suggests a ribbon-like structure distribution. Is it conceivable that there is a first order phase transition in the magneto-plasma medium, in which we are seeing the Voyager crossing in and out of the interface boundary? What else could keep the two separate regions of different order so well-differentiated from each other?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid that with the very limited spatial information the two Voyager paths afford us, we're destined to not know that for at least the next 50 to 100 years... $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Dec 10 '12 at 18:51

The anomalous cosmic rays had a huge drop in 2012 when Voyager 1 flew past the heliocliff where the solar wind also disappeared or came to a standstill. The measured ordinary cosmic rays did the opposite and doubled in 2012. So Voyager 1 is now in a region with almost no solar wind or low energy cosmic rays, but there is a lot of ordinary high energy cosmic rays in this new region. The magnetic field has also increased about 30 %, but show no signs that Voyager 1 has left the heliosphere. So we are talking about a new region inside our heliosphere. I have suggested that this new region may be a solar radiation belt: Has Voyager 1 entered a solar radiation belt?

I have heard little of the ribbon theory lately, and I think it was a proposal to explain the fluctuations as Voyager 1 entered the new region in our heliosphere, but as the new region now is more less stable I think most scientists have left the ribbon theory.


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