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  1. The transport of energetic particles in response to solar wind turbulence is important for space weather. To understand charged particle transport, it is usually assumed that the phase of the turbulence is randomly distributed (the random phase approximation) in quasi-linear theory and simulations. In this paper, we calculate the coherence index, C ϕ , of solar wind turbulence observed by the Helios 2 and Parker Solar Probe spacecraft using the surrogate data technique to check if the assumption is valid. Here, values of C ϕ = 0 and 1 indicate that the phase coherence is random and correlated, respectively. We estimate that the coherence index at the resonant scale of energetic ions (10 MeV protons) is 0.1 at 0.87 and 0.65 au, 0.18 at 0.29 au, and 0.3 (0.35) at 0.09 au for super (sub)-Alfvénic intervals, respectively. Since the random phase approximation corresponds to C ϕ = 0, this may indicate that the random phase approximation is not valid for the transport of energetic particles in the inner heliosphere, especially very close to the Sun ( ∼ 0.09  au).
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 20, 2024
  2. We investigate particle acceleration in an MHD-scale system of multiple current sheets by performing 2D and 3D MHD simulations combined with a test particle simulation. The system is unstable for the tearing-mode instability, and magnetic islands are produced by magnetic reconnection. Due to the interaction of magnetic islands, the system relaxes to a turbulent state. The 2D (3D) case both yield −5/3 (− 11/3 and −7/3) power-law spectra for magnetic and velocity fluctuations. Particles are efficiently energized by the generated turbulence, and form a power-law tail with an index of −2.2 and −4.2 in the energy distribution function for the 2D and 3D case, respectively. We find more energetic particles outside magnetic islands than inside. We observe super-diffusion in the 2D (∼ t 2.27 ) and 3D (∼ t 1.2 ) case in the energy space of energetic particles.
  3. Abstract Switchbacks are sudden, large radial deflections of the solar wind magnetic field, widely revealed in interplanetary space by the Parker Solar Probe. The switchbacks’ formation mechanism and sources are still unresolved, although candidate mechanisms include Alfvénic turbulence, shear-driven Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities, interchange reconnection, and geometrical effects related to the Parker spiral. This Letter presents observations from the Metis coronagraph on board a Solar Orbiter of a single large propagating S-shaped vortex, interpreted as the first evidence of a switchback in the solar corona. It originated above an active region with the related loop system bounded by open-field regions to the east and west. Observations, modeling, and theory provide strong arguments in favor of the interchange reconnection origin of switchbacks. Metis measurements suggest that the initiation of the switchback may also be an indicator of the origin of slow solar wind.