Sharp changes of solar wind ion flux and density within and outside current sheets

Дата и время публикации : 2010-06-12T20:15:23Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Olga Khabarova
Georgy Zastenker

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 33 pages, 8 figures, 6 tables, Solar Physics 2011, in press
Первичная категория: physics.space-ph

Все категории : physics.space-ph, astro-ph.EP, physics.plasm-ph

Краткий обзор статьи: Analysis of the Interball-1 spacecraft data (1995-2000) has shown that the solar wind ion flux sometimes increases or decreases abruptly by more than 20% over a time period of several seconds or minutes. Typically, the amplitude of such sharp changes in the solar wind ion flux (SCIFs) is larger than 0.5×10^8 cm^-2 s^-1. These sudden changes of the ion flux were also observed by the Solar Wind Experiment (SWE), on board the WIND spacecraft, as the solar wind density increases and decreases with negligible changes in the solar wind velocity. SCIFs occur irregularly at 1 AU, when plasma flows with specific properties come to the Earth’s orbit. SCIFs are usually observed in slow, turbulent solar wind with increased density and interplanetary magnetic field strength. The number of times SCIFs occur during a day is simulated using the solar wind density, magnetic field, and their standard deviations as input parameters for a period of 5 years. A correlation coefficient of ~0.7 is obtained between the modelled and the experimental data. It is found that SCIFs are not associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), corotating interaction regions (CIRs), or interplanetary shocks; however, 85% of the sector boundaries are surrounded by SCIFs. The properties of the solar wind plasma for days with 5 or more SCIF observations are the same as those of the solar wind plasma at the sector boundaries. One possible explanation for the occurrence of SCIFs (near sector boundaries) is magnetic reconnection at the heliospheric current sheet or local current sheets. Other probable causes of SCIFs (inside sectors) are turbulent processes in the slow solar wind and at the crossings of flux tubes.

Category: Physics