Sample Planetary Magnetosphere
As an example of a planetary magnetospheric configuration,
Neptune's magnetosphere is shown here as deduced from data
obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. The sun is off the figure to
the left, and the shapes of the external boundaries are established by
the supersonic plasma solar wind that blows away from the sun. The
exterior bowshock and magnetopause boundaries are highlighted,
and within the interior of the magnetosphere are shown the
radiation belt of high energy charged particles, the orbit of the
satellite Triton (analogous to the satellite Titan at Saturn), the
position of the outer ring of Neptune, and the orientation of the
internal magnetic axis (M) relative to the planetary spin axis (W).
The magnetotail extends off the figure to the right for at least 100's
of planetary radii.