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Abstract In January 2021, Metis/SolO and PSP formed a quadrature from which the slow solar wind was able to be measured from the extended solar corona (3.5 – 6.3 R ⊙ ) to the very inner heliosphere (23.2 R ⊙ ). Metis/SolO remotely measured the coronal solar wind, finding a speed of 96 – 201 kms −1 , and PSP measured the solar wind in situ, finding a speed of 219.34 kms −1 . Similarly, the normalized crosshelicity and the normalized residual energy measured by PSP are 0.96 and 0.07. In this manuscript, we study the evolution of the proton entropy and the turbulence cascade rate of the outward Elsässer energy during this quadrature. We also study the relationship between solar wind speed, density and temperature, and their relationship with the turbulence energy, the turbulence cascade rate, and the solar wind proton entropy. We compare the theoretical results with the observed results measured by Metis/SolO and PSP.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available July 1, 2024

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 present a theoretical and observational study of 2D and slab turbulence cascade (or heating) rates of transverse total turbulence energies, transverse cross helicity, transverse outward and inward Elsässer energy, transverse fluctuating magnetic energy density, and transverse fluctuating kinetic energy from the perihelion of the first Parker Solar Probe (PSP) orbit at ∼36.6 R ⊙ to Solar Orbiter (SolO) at ∼177 R ⊙ . We use the Adhikari et al. (2021a) approach to calculate the observed transverse turbulence heating rate, and the nearly incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (NI MHD) turbulence transport theory to calculate the theoretical turbulence cascade rate. We find from the 1 day long PSP measurements at 66.5 R ⊙ , and the SolO measurements at 176.3 R ⊙ that various transverse turbulent cascade rates increase with increasing angle, from 10° to 98°, between the mean solar wind speed and mean magnetic field ( θ UB ), indicating that the 2D heating rate is largest in the inner heliosphere. Similarly, we find from the theoretical and observed results that the 2D heating rate is larger than the slab heating rate as a function of heliocentric distance. We present a comparison between the theoretical and observed 2D and slab turbulence cascade rates as a function of heliocentric distance.more » « less

Abstract We present the first theoretical modeling of joint Parker Solar Probe (PSP)–Metis/Solar Orbiter (SolO) quadrature observations. The combined observations describe the evolution of a slow solar wind plasma parcel from the extended solar corona (3.5–6.3 R ⊙ ) to the very inner heliosphere (23.2 R ⊙ ). The Metis/SolO instrument remotely measures the solar wind speed finding a range from 96 to 201 km s −1 , and PSP measures the solar wind plasma in situ, observing a radial speed of 219.34 km s −1 . We find theoretically and observationally that the solar wind speed accelerates rapidly within 3.3–4 R ⊙ and then increases more gradually with distance. Similarly, we find that the theoretical solar wind density is consistent with the remotely and insitu observed solar wind density. The normalized cross helicity and normalized residual energy observed by PSP are 0.96 and −0.07, respectively, indicating that the slow solar wind is very Alfvénic. The theoretical NI/slab results are very similar to PSP measurements, which is a consequence of the highly magnetic fieldaligned radial flow ensuring that PSP can measure slab fluctuations and not 2D ones. Finally, we calculate the theoretical 2D and slab turbulence pressure, finding that the theoretical slab pressure is very similar to that observed by PSP.more » « less

Abstract We study anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in the slow solar wind measured by Parker Solar Probe (PSP) and Solar Orbiter (SolO) during its first orbit from the perspective of variance anisotropy and correlation anisotropy. We use the Belcher & Davis approach (M1) and a new method (M2) that decomposes a fluctuating vector into parallel and perpendicular fluctuating vectors. M1 and M2 calculate the transverse and parallel turbulence components relative to the mean magnetic field direction. The parallel turbulence component is regarded as compressible turbulence, and the transverse turbulence component as incompressible turbulence, which can be either Alfvénic or 2D. The transverse turbulence energy is calculated from M1 and M2, and the transverse correlation length from M2. We obtain the 2D and slab turbulence energy and the corresponding correlation lengths from those transverse turbulence components that satisfy an angle between the mean solar wind flow speed and mean magnetic field θ UB of either (i) 65° < θ UB < 115° or (ii) 0° < θ UB < 25° (155° < θ UB < 180°), respectively. We find that the 2D turbulence component is not typically observed by PSP near perihelion, but the 2D component dominates turbulence in the inner heliosphere. We compare the detailed theoretical results of a nearly incompressible MHD turbulence transport model with the observed results of PSP and SolO measurements, finding good agreement between them.more » « less

Abstract The structure of shocks and turbulence are strongly modified during the acceleration of cosmic rays (CRs) at a shock wave. The pressure and the collisionless viscous stress decelerate the incoming thermal gas and thus modify the shock structure. A CR streaming instability ahead of the shock generates the turbulence on which CRs scatter. The turbulent magnetic field in turn determines the CR diffusion coefficient and further affects the CR energy spectrum and pressure distribution. The dissipation of turbulence contributes to heating the thermal gas. Within a multicomponent fluid framework, CRs and thermal gas are treated as fluids and are closely coupled to the turbulence. The system equations comprise the gas dynamic equations, the CR pressure evolution equation, and the turbulence transport equations, and we adopt typical parameters for the hot ionized interstellar medium. It is shown that the shock has no discontinuity but possesses a narrow but smooth transition. The selfgenerated turbulent magnetic field is much stronger than both the largescale magnetic field and the preexisting turbulent magnetic field. The resulting CR diffusion coefficient is substantially suppressed and is more than three orders smaller near the shock than it is far upstream. The results are qualitatively consistent with certain observations.more » « less

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 outwardpropagating modes. The power spectrum of the outwardpropagating Elsässer z + mode steepens at high frequencies while that of the inwardpropagating 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 outwardpropagating Alfvén and fast magnetosonic wave modes are prevalent in the two subAlfvénic intervals, while the slow magnetosonic modes dominate the superAlfvénic interval in between. The slow modes occur where the wavevector is nearly perpendicular to the local mean magnetic field, corresponding to nonpropagating pressurebalanced structures. The alternating forward and backward slow modes may also be features of magnetic reconnection in the nearSun heliospheric current sheet.more » « less