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  1. Abstract We investigate the interaction of turbulence with shock waves by performing 2D hybrid kinetic simulations. We inject force-free magnetic fields upstream that are unstable to the tearing-mode instability. The magnetic fields evolve into turbulence and interact with a shock wave whose sonic Mach number is 2.4. Turbulence properties, the total and normalized residual energy and the normalized cross helicity, change across the shock wave. While the energy of velocity and magnetic fluctuations is mostly distributed equally upstream, the velocity fluctuations are amplified dominantly downstream of the shock wave. The amplitude of turbulence spectra for magnetic, velocity, and density fluctuationsmore »are also increased at the shock wave while their spectral index remains unchanged. We compare our results with the Zank et al. model of turbulence transmission across a shock, and find that it provides a reasonable explanation for the spectral change across the shock wave. We find that particles are efficiently accelerated at the shock front, and a power-law spectrum forms downstream. This can be explained by diffusive shock acceleration, in which particles gain energy by being scattered upstream and downstream of a shock wave. The trajectory of an accelerated particle suggests that upstream turbulence plays a role scattering of particles.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. Solar wind turbulence is anisotropic with respect to the mean magnetic field. Anisotropy leads to ambiguity when interpreting in situ turbulence observations in the solar wind because an apparent change in the measurements could be due to either the change of intrinsic turbulence properties or to a simple change of the spacecraft sampling direction. We demonstrate the ambiguity using the spectral index and magnetic compressibility in the inertial range observed by the Parker Solar Probe during its first seven orbits ranging from 0.1 to 0.6 au. To unravel the effects of the sampling direction, we assess whether the wave-vector anisotropymore »is consistent with a two-dimensional (2D) plus slab turbulence transport model and determine the fraction of power in the 2D versus slab component. Our results confirm that the 2D plus slab model is consistent with the data and the power ratio between 2D and slab components depends on radial distance, with the relative power in 2D fluctuations becoming smaller closer to the Sun.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Particle acceleration behind a shock wave due to interactions between magnetic islands in the heliosphere has attracted attention in recent years. The downstream acceleration may yield a continuous increase of particle flux downstream of the shock wave. Although it is not obvious how the downstream magnetic islands are produced, it has been suggested that current sheets are involved in the generation of magnetic islands due to their interaction with a shock wave. We perform 2D hybrid kinetic simulations to investigate the interaction between multiple current sheets and a shock wave. In the simulation, current sheets are compressed by themore »shock wave and a tearing instability develops at the compressed current sheets downstream of the shock. As the result of this instability, the electromagnetic fields become turbulent and magnetic islands form well downstream of the shock wave. We find a “post-cursor” region in which the downstream flow speed normal to the shock wave in the downstream rest frame is decelerated to ∼ 1 V A immediately behind the shock wave, where V A is the upstream Alfvén speed. The flow speed then gradually decelerates to 0 accompanied by the development of the tearing instability. We also observe an efficient production of energetic particles above 100 E 0 during the development of the instability some distance downstream of the shock wave, where E 0 = m p V A 2 and m p is the proton mass. This feature corresponds to Voyager observations showing that the anomalous cosmic-ray intensity increase begins some distance downstream of the heliospheric termination shock.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. 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 formore »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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. Abstract Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observed predominately Alfvénic fluctuations in the solar wind near the Sun where the magnetic field tends to be radially aligned. In this paper, two magnetic-field-aligned solar wind flow intervals during PSP’s first two orbits are analyzed. Observations of these intervals indicate strong signatures of parallel/antiparallel-propagating waves. We utilize multiple analysis techniques to extract the properties of the observed waves in both magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic scales. At the MHD scale, outward-propagating Alfvén waves dominate both intervals, and outward-propagating fast magnetosonic waves present the second-largest contribution in the spectral energy density. At kinetic scales, we identifymore »the circularly polarized plasma waves propagating near the proton gyrofrequency in both intervals. However, the sense of magnetic polarization in the spacecraft frame is observed to be opposite in the two intervals, although they both possess a sunward background magnetic field. The ion-scale plasma wave observed in the first interval can be either an inward-propagating ion cyclotron wave (ICW) or an outward-propagating fast-mode/whistler wave in the plasma frame, while in the second interval it can be explained as an outward ICW or inward fast-mode/whistler wave. The identification of the exact kinetic wave mode is more difficult to confirm owing to the limited plasma data resolution. The presence of ion-scale waves near the Sun suggests that ion cyclotron resonance may be one of the ubiquitous kinetic physical processes associated with small-scale magnetic fluctuations and kinetic instabilities in the inner heliosphere.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 30, 2022
  6. Context. The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) measures solar wind protons and electrons near the Sun. To study the thermodynamic properties of electrons and protons, we include electron effects, such as distributed turbulent heating between protons and electrons, Coulomb collisions between protons and electrons, and heat conduction of electrons. Aims. We develop a general theoretical model of nearly incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (NI MHD) turbulence coupled with a solar wind model that includes electron pressure and heat flux. Methods. It is important to note that 60% of the turbulence energy is assigned to proton heating and 40% to electron heating. We use anmore »empirical expression for the electron heat flux. We derived a nonlinear dissipation term for the residual energy that includes both the Alfvén effect and the turbulent small-scale dynamo effect. Similarly, we obtained the NI/slab time-scale in an NI MHD phenomenology to use in the derivation of the nonlinear term that incorporates the Alfvén effect. Results. A detailed comparison between the theoretical model solutions and the fast solar wind measured by PSP and Helios 2 shows that they are consistent. The results show that the nearly incompressible NI/slab turbulence component describes observations of the fast solar wind periods when the solar wind flow is aligned or antialigned with the magnetic field.« less