Spiral path of interplanetary electrons

Spiral path of interplanetary electrons

. The trajectory of flare electrons in interplanetary space as viewed from above the Sun's polar regions using the Ulysses spacecraft. As the high-speed electrons move out from the Sun, they excite radio radiation at successively lower frequencies; the numbers denote the observed frequency in kiloHertz, or kHz. Since the flaring electrons are forced to follow the interplanetary magnetic field, they do not move in a straight line from the Sun to the Earth, but instead move along the spiral pattern of the interplanetary magnetic field, shown by the solid curved lines. The squares and crosses mark Ulysses radio measurements of type III radio bursts on 25 October 1994 and 30 October 1994. The approximate locations of the orbits of Mercury, Venus and the Earth are shown as circles. (Courtesy of Michael J. Reiner. Ulysses is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University