Parker Solar Probe (PSP) observed subAlfvénic solar wind intervals during encounters 8–14, and lowfrequency magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in these regions may differ from that in superAlfvénic wind. We apply a new mode decomposition analysis to the subAlfvénic flow observed by PSP on 2021 April 28, identifying and characterizing entropy, magnetic islands, forward and backward Alfvén waves, including weakly/nonpropagating Alfvén vortices, forward and backward fast and slow magnetosonic (MS) modes. Density fluctuations are primarily and almost equally entropy and backwardpropagating slow MS modes. The mode decomposition provides phase information (frequency and wavenumber
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Abstract k ) for each mode. Entropy density fluctuations have a wavenumber anisotropy ofk _{∥}≫k _{⊥}, whereas slowmode density fluctuations havek _{⊥}>k _{∥}. Magnetic field fluctuations are primarily magnetic island modes (δ B ^{i}) with anO (1) smaller contribution from unidirectionally propagating Alfvén waves (δ B ^{A+}) giving a variance anisotropy of . Incompressible magnetic fluctuations dominate compressible contributions from fast and slow MS modes. The magnetic island spectrum is Kolmogorovlike $\u3008{\delta {B}^{i}}^{2}\u3009/\u3008{\delta {B}^{A}}^{2}\u3009=4.1$ in perpendicular wavenumber, and the unidirectional Alfvén wave spectra are ${k}_{\perp}^{1.6}$ and ${k}_{\parallel}^{1.6}$ . Fast MS modes propagate at essentially the Alfvén speed with anticorrelated transverse velocity and magnetic field fluctuations and are almost exclusively magnetic due to ${k}_{\perp}^{1.5}$β _{p}≪ 1. Transverse velocity fluctuations are the dominant velocity component in fast MS modes, and longitudinal fluctuations dominate in slow modes. Mode decomposition is an effective tool in identifying the basic building blocks of MHD turbulence and provides detailed phase information about each of the modes. 
Abstract Interplanetary shock waves are observed frequently in turbulent solar wind. They naturally enhance the temperature/entropy of the plasma through which they propagate. Moreover, many studies have shown that they also act as an amplifier of the fluctuations incident on the shock front. Solar wind turbulent fluctuations can be well described as the superposition of quasi2D and slab components, the former being energetically dominant. In this paper, we address the interaction of fast forward shocks observed by the Wind spacecraft at 1 AU and quasi2D turbulent fluctuations in the framework of the Zank et al. (2021) transmission model and we compare model predictions with observations. Our statistical study includes 378 shocks with varying upstream conditions and Mach numbers. We estimate the average ratio of the downstream observed and theoretically predicted power spectra within the inertial range of turbulence. We find that the distributions of this ratio for the whole set and for the subset of shocks that met the assumptions of the model, are remarkably close. We argue that a large statistical spread of the distributions of this ratio is governed by the inherent variation of the upstream conditions. Our findings suggest that the model predicts the downstream fluctuations with a good accuracy and that it may be adopted for a wider class of shocks than it was originally meant for.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available July 1, 2024

Abstract Smallamplitude 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 modedecomposition 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
_{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.k 
Abstract Pickup ions (PUIs) play a crucial role in the heliosphere, contributing to the mediation of largescale structures such as the distant solar wind, the heliospheric termination shock, and the heliopause. While magnetic reconnection is thought to be a common process in the heliosphere due to the presence of heliospheric current sheets, it is poorly understood how PUIs might affect the evolution of magnetic reconnection. Although it is reasonable to suppose that PUIs decrease the reconnection rate since the plasma beta becomes much larger than 1 when PUIs are included, we show for the first time that such a supposition is invalid and that PUIinduced turbulence, heat conduction, and viscosity can preferentially boost magnetic reconnection in heliospheric current sheets in the distant solar wind. This suggests that it is critical to include the effect of the turbulence, heat conduction, and viscosity caused by PUIs to understand the dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the outer heliosphere.

Abstract A wellknown shortcoming of singlespacecraft spectral analysis is that only the 1D wavenumber spectrum can be observed, assuming the characteristic wave propagation speed is much smaller than the solar wind flow speed. This limitation has motivated an extended debate about whether fluctuations observed in the solar wind are waves or structures. Multispacecraft analysis techniques can be used to calculate the wavevector independent of the observed frequency, thus allowing one to study the frequency–wavenumber spectrum of turbulence directly. The dispersion relation for waves can be identified, which distinguishes them from nonpropagating structures. We use magnetic field data from the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft to measure the frequency–wavenumber spectrum of solar wind turbulence based on the k filtering and phase differencing techniques. Both techniques have been used successfully in the past for the Earth’s magnetosphere, although applications to solar wind turbulence have been limited. We conclude that the solar wind turbulence intervals observed by MMS show features of nonpropagating structures that are associated with frequencies close to zero in the plasma rest frame. However, there is no clear evidence of propagating Alfvén waves that have a nonzero restframe frequency. The lack of waves may be due to instrument noise and spacecraft separation. Our results support the idea of turbulence dominated by quasi2D structures.more » « less

Abstract We investigate the interaction of turbulence with shock waves by performing 2D hybrid kinetic simulations. We inject forcefree magnetic fields upstream that are unstable to the tearingmode 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 fluctuations 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 powerlaw 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.more » « less

Inertialrange Magneticfluctuation Anisotropy Observed from Parker Solar Probe’s First Seven OrbitsSolar 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 wavevector anisotropy is consistent with a twodimensional (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.more » « less

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 the 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 “postcursor” 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 cosmicray intensity increase begins some distance downstream of the heliospheric termination shock.more » « less

null (Ed.)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 an 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 smallscale dynamo effect. Similarly, we obtained the NI/slab timescale 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.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 helicitybased technique. The ICMEdriven 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 waveletreconstructed magnetic field fluctuation hodograms were used to further study the polarization properties of waves. Results. We find that the ICMEdriven 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 righthand 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