- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- The Astrophysical Journal
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Abstract During its 10th orbit around the Sun, the Parker Solar Probe sampled two intervals where the local Alfvén speed exceeded the solar wind speed, lasting more than 10 hours in total. In this paper, we analyze the turbulence and wave properties during these periods. The turbulence is observed to be Alfvénic and unbalanced, dominated by outward-propagating modes. The power spectrum of the outward-propagating Elsässer z + mode steepens at high frequencies while that of the inward-propagating z − mode flattens. The observed Elsässer spectra can be explained by the nearly incompressible (NI) MHD turbulence model with both 2D and Alfvénic components. The modeling results show that the z + spectra are dominated by the NI/slab component, and the 2D component mainly affects the z − spectra at low frequencies. An MHD wave decomposition based on an isothermal closure suggests that outward-propagating Alfvén and fast magnetosonic wave modes are prevalent in the two sub-Alfvénic intervals, while the slow magnetosonic modes dominate the super-Alfvénic interval in between. The slow modes occur where the wavevector is nearly perpendicular to the local mean magnetic field, corresponding to nonpropagating pressure-balanced structures. The alternating forward and backward slow modes may also be features of magnetic reconnection in the near-Sun heliospheric current sheet.more » « less
Aims. An interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) event was observed by the Solar Orbiter at 0.8 AU on 2020 April 19 and by Wind at 1 AU on 2020 April 20. Futhermore, an interplanetary shock wave was driven in front of the ICME. Here, we focus on the transmission of the magnetic fluctuations across the shock and we analyze the characteristic wave modes of solar wind turbulence in the vicinity of the shock observed by both spacecraft. Methods. The observed ICME event is characterized by a magnetic helicity-based technique. The ICME-driven shock normal was determined by magnetic coplanarity method for the Solar Orbiter and using a mixed plasma and field approach for Wind. The power spectra of magnetic field fluctuations were generated by applying both a fast Fourier transform and Morlet wavelet analysis. To understand the nature of waves observed near the shock, we used the normalized magnetic helicity as a diagnostic parameter. The wavelet-reconstructed magnetic field fluctuation hodograms were used to further study the polarization properties of waves. Results. We find that the ICME-driven shock observed by Solar Orbiter and Wind is a fast, forward oblique shock with a more perpendicular shock angle at the Wind position. After the shock crossing, the magnetic field fluctuation power increases. Most of the magnetic field fluctuation power resides in the transverse fluctuations. In the vicinity of the shock, both spacecraft observe right-hand polarized waves in the spacecraft frame. The upstream wave signatures fall within a relatively broad and low frequency band, which might be attributed to low frequency MHD waves excited by the streaming particles. For the downstream magnetic wave activity, we find oblique kinetic Alfvén waves with frequencies near the proton cyclotron frequency in the spacecraft frame. The frequency of the downstream waves increases by a factor of ∼7–10 due to the shock compression and the Doppler effect.more » « less
Windobservations of a long and slow magnetic cloud (MC) propagating through large‐amplitude Alfvén waves (LAAWs). The MC axis has a strong component along GSE X, as also confirmed by a Grad‐Shafranov reconstruction. It is overtaking the solar wind at a speed roughly equal to the upstream Alfvén speed, leading to a weak shock wave 17 hr ahead. We give evidence to show that the nominal sheath region is populated by LAAWs: (i) a well‐defined de Hoffmann‐Teller frame in which there is excellent correlation between the field and flow vectors, (ii) constant field and total pressure, and (iii) an Alfvén ratio (i.e., ratio of kinetic‐to‐magnetic energy of the fluctuations) near unity at frequencies much lower than the ion cyclotron frequency in the spacecraft frame. In the region where the LAAWs approach the MC's front boundary there are field and flow discontinuities. At the first, magnetic reconnection is taking place, as deduced from a stress balance test (Walén test). This severs connection of some field lines to the Sun and the solar wind strahl disappears. There follows a 2‐hr interval where the magnetic field strength is diminished while pressure balance is maintained. Here the bidirectionality of the suprathermal electron flows is intermittently disrupted. This interval ends with a slow expansion fan downstream of which there is a dropout of halo electrons just inside the front boundary of the MC. This study illustrates an untypical case of a slow MC interacting with LAAWs in the slow solar wind.
Understanding the physical mechanisms responsible for the cross‐scale energy transport and plasma heating from solar wind into the Earth's magnetosphere is of fundamental importance for magnetospheric physics and for understanding these processes in other places in the universe with comparable plasma parameter ranges. This paper presents observations from the Magnetosphere Multiscale (MMS) mission at the dawn‐side high‐latitude dayside boundary layer on February 25, 2016 between 18:55 and 20:05 UT. During this interval, MMS encountered both the inner and outer boundary layers with quasiperiodic low frequency fluctuations in all plasma and field parameters. The frequency analysis and growth rate calculations are consistent with the Kelvin‐Helmholtz instability (KHI). The intervals within the low frequency wave structures contained several counter‐streaming, low‐ (0–200 eV) and mid‐energy (200 eV–2 keV) electrons in the loss cone and trapped energetic (70–600 keV) electrons in alternate intervals. The counter‐streaming electron intervals were associated with large‐magnitude field‐aligned Poynting fluxes. Burst mode data at the large Alfvén velocity gradient revealed a strong correlation between counter streaming electrons, enhanced parallel electron temperatures, strong anti‐field aligned wave Poynting fluxes, and wave activity from sub‐proton cyclotron frequencies extending to electron cyclotron frequency. Waves were identified as Kinetic Alfvén waves but their contribution to parallel electron heating was not sufficient to explain the >100 eV electrons.
Small-amplitude fluctuations in the magnetized solar wind are measured typically by a single spacecraft. In the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) description, fluctuations are typically expressed in terms of the fundamental modes admitted by the system. An important question is how to resolve an observed set of fluctuations, typically plasma moments such as the density, velocity, pressure, and magnetic field fluctuations, into their constituent fundamental MHD modal components. Despite its importance in understanding the basic elements of waves and turbulence in the solar wind, this problem has not yet been fully resolved. Here, we introduce a new method that identifies between wave modes and advected structures such as magnetic islands or entropy modes and computes the phase information associated with the eligible MHD modes. The mode-decomposition method developed here identifies the admissible modes in an MHD plasma from a set of plasma and magnetic field fluctuations measured by a single spacecraft at a specific frequency and an inferred wavenumber
k m. We present data from three typical intervals measured by the Wind and Solar Orbiter spacecraft at ∼1 au and show how the new method identifies both propagating (wave) and nonpropagating (structures) modes, including entropy and magnetic island modes. This allows us to identify and characterize the separate MHD modes in an observed plasma parcel and to derive wavenumber spectra of entropic density, fast and slow magnetosonic, Alfvénic, and magnetic island fluctuations for the first time. These results help identify the fundamental building blocks of turbulence in the magnetized solar wind.