Enter Zoom Meeting


Pioneering exploration of the solar corona and near-Sun environment – Latest results from Parker Solar Probe

The Sun’s corona is the birthplace of the solar wind, coronal mass ejections, associated shock waves and solar energetic particles which all are fundamental drivers of space weather. The key physical processes at the origin of these phenomena, i.e. the heating and acceleration of the coronal plasma and energetic particles, have not been clarified to date. During EGU 2021 Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will go through its eight´s perihelion of its 24 scheduled orbits around the Sun. During this perihelion the spacecraft will go as close to the Sun as 15.6 solar radii. PSP has already provided a treasure trove worth of in-situ and remote sensing data. The data from the previous orbits have revealed phenomena never seen before. Solar Orbiter (SO) was successfully launched on 10 February 2020. The in-situ instruments have become fully operational and the remote sensing instruments have also been switched on. Combining the PSP observations with data from SO, with remote sensing observations from SDO, STEREO and Proba2, with other in-situ data, e.g., from ACE and DSCOVR, with ground-based observations and with theoretical models is a challenging and exciting task. This session invites scientific contributions on all aspects of research addressed to the exploration of our near-Sun environment, with special focus on the new observations from PSP and SO and other complimenting observations and models.

Convener: Volker Bothmer | Co-conveners: Olga Malandraki, Nour Raouafi, Alexis Rouillard, Manuela Temmer
Welcome to this vPICO session. All conveners, speakers, and attendees join the Zoom Meeting for the live presentations through the green button to the top right. On this page, you will find a list of presentations, their abstracts linked, and you can use the handshake to start spontaneous chats with others.

Activation of the text chat sets a cookie in your browser that is automatically deleted at the end of the conference.

A chat user is typing ...
SHIFT+ENTER for line break
We are sorry but we encountered a problem while running the chat ST1.4 . Please reload this browser window. In case this message is shown again after reloading, please contact us at: egu21@copernicus.org. We are sorry for this inconvenience.

Tue, 27 Apr, 15:30–17:00

Chairpersons: Volker Bothmer, Nour Raouafi, Olga Malandraki

5-minute convener introduction

Anna Tenerani et al.

Alfvénic fluctuations represent the dominant contributions to turbulent fluctuations in the solar wind, especially, but not limited to, the fastest streams with velocity of the order of 600-700 km/s. Alfvénic fluctuations can contribute to solar wind heating and acceleration via wave pressure and turbulent heating. Observations show that such fluctuations are characterized by a nearly constant magnetic field amplitude, a condition which remains largely to be understood and that may be an indication of how fluctuations evolve and relax in the expanding solar wind. Interestingly, measurements from Parker Solar Probe have shown the ubiquitous and persistent presence of the so-called switchbacks. These are magnetic field lines which are strongly perturbed to the point that they produce local inversions of the radial magnetic field. The corresponding signature of switchbacks in the velocity field is that of local enhancements in the radial speed (or jets) that display the typical velocity-magnetic field correlation that characterizes Alfvén waves propagating away from the Sun. While there is not yet a general consensus on what is the origin of switchbacks and their connection to coronal activity, a first necessary step to answer these important questions is to understand how they evolve and how long they can persist in the solar wind. Here we investigate the evolution of switchbacks. We address how their evolution is affected by parametric instabilities and the possible role of expansion, by comparing models with the observed radial evolution of the fluctuations’ amplitude. We finally discuss what are the implications of our results for models of switchback generation and related open questions.

How to cite: Tenerani, A., Velli, M., and Matteini, L.: Theory and observations of switchbacks’ evolution in the solar wind, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13400, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13400, 2021.

James Drake et al.

The observations from the Parker Solar Probe during the first
perihelion revealed large numbers of local reversals in the radial
component of the magnetic field with associated velocity spikes. Since
the spacecraft was magnetically connected to a coronal hole during the
closest approach to the sun, one possible source of these spikes is
magnetic reconnection between the open field lines in the coronal hole
and an adjacent region of closed flux. Reconnection in a low beta
environment characteristic of the corona is expected to be bursty
rather than steady and is therefore capable of producing large numbers
of magnetic flux ropes with local reversals of the radial magnetic
field that can propagate outward large radial distances from the
sun. Flux ropes with a strong guide field produce signatures
consistent with the PSP observations. We have carried out simulations
of "interchange" reconnection in the corona and have explored the
local structure of flux ropes embedded within the expanding solar
wind. We have first established that traditional interchange
reconnection cannot produce the switchbacks since bent field lines
generated in the corona quickly straighten. The simulations have been
extended to the regime dominated by the production of multiple flux
ropes and we have established that flux ropes are injected into the
local solar wind. Local simulations of reconnection are also being
carried out to explore the structure of flux ropes embedded in the
solar wind for comparison with observations. Evidence is presented
that flux rope merging may be ongoing and might lead to the high
aspect ratio of the switchback structures measured in the solar wind.

How to cite: Drake, J., Agapitov, O., Swisdak, M., Badman, S., Bale, S., Horbury, T., Kasper, J., MacDowal, R., Mozer, F., Phan, T., Pulupa, M., Szabo, A., and Velli, M.: Magnetic Reconnection in the Corona as a Source of Switchbacks in the Solar Wind, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2865, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2865, 2021.

Naïs Fargette et al.

Parker Solar Probe data below 0.3 AU have revealed a near-Sun magnetic field dominated by Alfvénic structures that display back and forth reversals of the radial magnetic field. They are called magnetic switchbacks, they display no electron strahl variation consistent with magnetic field foldings within the same magnetic sector, and are associated with velocity spikes during an otherwise calmer background. They are thought to originate either at the photosphere through magnetic reconnection processes, or higher up in the corona and solar wind through turbulent processes.

In this work, we analyze the spatial and temporal characteristic scales of these magnetic switchbacks. We define switchbacks as a deviation from the parker spiral direction and detect them automatically through perihelia encounters 1 to 6. We analyze the solid angle between the magnetic field and the parker spiral both over time and space. We perform a fast Fourier transformation to the obtained angle and find a periodical spatial variation with scales consistent with solar granulation. This suggests that switchbacks form near the photosphere and may be caused, or at least modulated, by solar convection.

How to cite: Fargette, N., Lavraud, B., Rouillard, A., Réville, V., Phan, T., Bale, S. D., Dudok De Wit, T., Froment, C., Kasper, J., Halekas, J. S., Louarn, P., Case, A. W., Korreck, K. E., Larson, D. E., Malaspina, D., Pulupa, M., Stevens, M. L., Whittlesey, P. L., and Berthomier, M.: Why switchbacks may be related to solar granulation , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15707, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15707, 2021.

Mojtaba Akhavan-Tafti et al.

Magnetic switchbacks are Alfvénic structures characterized as intervals of intermittent reversals in the radial componentof magnetic field. Switchbacks comprise of magnetic spikes preceded/succeeded by quiet, pristine solar wind. Determining switch-back generation and evolution mechanisms will further our understanding of the global circulation and transportation of Sun’s openmagnetic flux. Here, we investigate switchback transition regions using measurements from fields and plasma suites aboard the Parker SolarProbe (PSP). Minimum variance analysis (MVA) is applied on switchback transition region magnetic signatures. Discontinuity analysesare performed on 273 switchback transition regions with robust MVA solutions. Our results indicate that switchbacks are rotational discontinuities (RD) in 214 (or 78%) of the cases. 21% of the switchbacktransition regions are categorized as "either" discontinuity (ED), defined as small relative changes in both magnitude and the normalcomponent of magnetic field. RD-to-ED event count is found to reduce with increasing distance from the Sun. On average, plasmabeta falls by −28% across RD-type switchback transition regions and magnetic shear angle is 60 [deg], therefore making switchbacktransition regions theoretically favorable to local magnetic reconnection. The evolution of switchbacks away from the Sun may involve increasing mass flux across RD-type switchback transition regions. The evolution mechanism(s) remain to be discovered. Our results indicate negligible magnetic curvature across switchback transition regions which may inhibit local magnetic reconnection.

How to cite: Akhavan-Tafti, M., Kasper, J., Huang, J., and Bale, S.: Discontinuity analysis and evolution of magnetic switchbacks, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7879, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-7879, 2021.

Mihailo Martinović et al.

Parker Solar Probe (PSP) routinely observes magnetic field deflections in the solar wind at distances less than 0.3 au from the Sun. These deflections are related to structures commonly called 'switchbacks' (SBs), whose origins and characteristic properties are currently debated. Here, we use a database of visually selected SB intervals - and regions of solar wind plasma measured just before and after each SB - to examine plasma parameters, turbulent spectra from inertial to dissipation scales, and intermittency effects in these intervals. We find that many features, such as perpendicular stochastic heating rates and turbulence spectral slopes are fairly similar inside and outside of SBs. However, important kinetic properties, such as the characteristic break scale between the inertial to dissipation ranges differ inside and outside these intervals, as does the level of intermittency, which is notably enhanced inside SBs and in their close proximity, most likely due to magnetic field and velocity shears observed at the edges. We conclude that the plasma inside and outside of a SB, in most of the observed cases, belongs to the same stream, and that the evolution of these structures is most likely regulated by kinetic processes, which dominate small scale structures at the SB edges. 

How to cite: Martinović, M., Klein, K., Huang, J., Chandran, B., Kasper, J., Lichko, E., Bowen, T., Chen, C., Matteini, L., Stevens, M., Case, A., and Bale, S.: Multiscale Solar Wind Turbulence Properties inside and near Switchbacks measured by Parker Solar Probe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6686, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6686, 2021.

Vladimir Krasnoselskikh et al.

Switchback boundaries separate two plasmas moving with different velocities, that may have different temperatures and densities and typically manifest sharp magnetic field deflections through the boundary. They may be analyzed similarly to MHD discontinuities. The first step of their characterization consists of analysis in terms of MHD discontinuities. Such an analysis was performed by Larosa et al., (2021) who has found that 32% of them may be attributed to rotational discontinuities, 17% to tangential, about 42% to the group of discontinuities that are difficult to unambiguously define whether they are tangential or rotational, and 9% that do not belong to any of these two groups. We describe and apply hereafter for two events another approach for the characterization of the boundaries based on classification of the general type discontinuity in MHD approximation. It is based on the problem of the decay of the general type of discontinuity. It is well known [Kulikovsky and Lyubimov, 1962, Gogosov, 1959} that general type MHD discontinuity decays on 7 separate discontinuities belonging to different types of MHD waves, namely, entropic wave, two slow mode waves, two Alfvenic waves, and two fast mode waves. Entropic wave is standing in the reference frame of the discontinuity; other wave modes are supposed to run in the opposite directions from the initial discontinuity with their characteristic velocities. Making use of plasma parameters from two sides of the boundary one can evaluate the fraction of each wave mode present in the discontinuity. We apply this method to two boundary crossings. This repartition of the discontinuity allows characterizing the deviation from Alfvenicity quantitatively.


Larosa, A., et al., A&A, 2021, (accepted)

Kulikovsky, Lyubimov, Magnetohydrodynamics, (1962)

Gogosov, V.V., Decay of the MHD discontinuity, (1959)

How to cite: Krasnoselskikh, V., Larosa, A., Dudok de Wit, T., Agapitov, O., Froment, C., Kretzschmar, M., Jagarlamudi, V., Velli, M., Bale, S. D., Goetz, K., Harvey, P., Kasper, J., Korreck, K., Larson, D., MacDowall, R., Malaspina, D., Mozer, F., Pulupa, M., Reveillet, C., and Stevens, M.: Decomposition of the switchback boundary on MHD wave modes., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15180, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15180, 2021.

Rui Pinto et al.

The solar wind is frequently perturbed by transient structures such as magnetic folds, jets, waves and flux-ropes that propagate rapidly away from the Sun over a large range of heliocentric distances. Parker Solar Probe has revealed that rotations of the magnetic field vector occur repeatedly at small heliocentric distances, on regions that also display surprisingly large solar wind rotation rates. Sun-to-spacecraft connectivity analysis shows that a large fraction of the solar wind flows probed so far by Parker Solar Probe were formed and accelerated in the vicinity of coronal hole boundaries.
We show by means of of global MHD simulations that coronal rotation is highly structured in proximity to those boundary regions (in agreement with preceding SoHO/UVCS observations), and that enhanced poloidal and toroidal flow shear and magnetic field gradients also develop there. We identified regions of the solar corona for which solar wind speed and rotational shear are significant, that can be associated with field-aligned and/or transverse vorticity, and that can be favourable to the development of magnetic deflections. Some of these wind flow shears are driven through large radial extensions, being noticeable tens of solar radii away from the surface, and therefore have a potential impact on the propagation of such magnetic perturbations across extended heights in the solar wind. We conclude that these regions of persistent shears are undoubtedly sources of complex solar wind structures, and suggest that they can trigger instabilities capable of creating magnetic field reversals detected in-situ in the heliosphere.
Our simulations furthermore indicate that the spatial structure of the solar wind shear will become more complex as the solar cycle progresses, with strong and extended shears appearing at heliographic latitudes that will be probed by Solar Orbiter in the near future.

How to cite: Pinto, R., Poirier, N., Kouloumvakos, A., Rouillard, A., Griton, L., Fargette, N., Kieokaew, R., Lavraud, B., and Brun, A. S.: Solar wind speed and rotational shear at coronal hole boundaries, impacts on magnetic field inversions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13552, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13552, 2021.

David Malaspina et al.

Recent studies of the solar wind sunward of 0.25 AU using the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft reveal that that solar wind can be bimodal, alternating between near quiescent regions with low turbulent fluctuation amplitudes and Parker-like magnetic field direction and regions of highly turbulent plasma and magnetic field fluctuations associated with ‘switchbacks’ of the radial magnetic field.  

The quiescent solar wind regions are highly unstable to the formation of plasma waves near the electron cyclotron frequency (fce), possibly driven by strahl electrons, which carry the solar wind heat flux, and may provide one of the most direct particle diagnostics of the solar corona at the source of the solar wind.  These waves are most intense near ~0.7 fce and ~fce. The near-fce waves are found to become more intense and more frequent closer to the Sun, and statistical evidence indicates that their occurrence rate is related to the sunward drift of the core electron population.  

In this study, we examine high time resolution burst captures of these waves, demonstrating that each wave burst contains several distinct wave types, including electron Bernstein waves and extremely narrow band waves that are highly sensitive to the magnetic field orientation. Using properties of these waves we provide evidence to support the identification of their likely plasma wave modes and the instabilities responsible for generating these waves.  By understanding the driving instabilities responsible for these waves, we infer their ability to modify electron distribution functions in the quiescent near-Sun solar wind.  

How to cite: Malaspina, D., Wilson, L., Ergun, R., Bale, S., Bonnell, J., Dudok de Wit, T., Goetz, K., Goodrich, K., Harvey, P., MacDowall, R., Pulupa, M., Halekas, J., Case, A., Larson, D., Stevens, M., and Whittlesey, P.: Plasma Waves Near the Electron Cyclotron Frequency in the Near Sun Solar Wind: Wave Mode Identification and Driving Instabilities, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-955, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-955, 2021.

Lily Kromyda et al.

During its first five orbits, the FIELDS plasma wave investigation on board Parker Solar Probe (PSP)  has observed a multitude of plasma waves, including electrostatic whistler and electron Bernstein waves (Malaspina et al. 2020), sunward propagating whistlers (Agapitov et al. 2020), ion-scale electromagnetic waves (Verniero et al. 2020, Bowen et al. 2020) and Alfven, slow and fast mode waves (Chaston et al. 2020).

The importance of these waves lies in their potential to redistribute the energy of the solar wind among different particles species (wave-particle interactions) or different types of waves (wave-wave interactions). The abundance of waves and instabilities observed with PSP points to their central role in the regulation of this energy exchange.

Here we present first observations of an intermittent, electrostatic and broadband plasma wave that is ubiquitous in the range of distances that PSP has probed so far. A unique feature of these waves (FDWs) is a frequency shift that occurs on millisecond timescales. In the frame of the spacecraft, FDWs usually appear between the electron cyclotron and electron plasma frequencies.

We develop a detection algorithm that identifies the FDWs in low cadence spectra. We analyze them using various statistical techniques. We establish their phenomenology and compare the magnetic fluctuations of the background magnetic field at times of FDWs and at times without FDWs. We establish their polarization with respect to the background magnetic field and search for correlations with various plasma parameters and features in the electron, proton and alpha particle distribution moments. We also investigate possible plasma wave modes that could be responsible for the growth of FDWs and the instability mechanisms that could be generating them.


Lily Kromyda*(1), David M. Malaspina (1,2), Robert E. Ergun(1,2) , Jasper Halekas(3), Michael L. Stevens(4) , Jennifer Verniero(5), Alexandros Chasapis(2) , Daniel Vech(2) , Stuart D. Bale(5,6) , John W. Bonnell(5) , Thierry Dudok de Wit(7) , Keith Goetz(8) , Katherine Goodrich(5) , Peter R. Harvey(5) , Robert J. MacDowall(9) , Marc Pulupa(5) , Anthony W. Case(4) , Justin C. Kasper(10) , Kelly E. Korreck(4) , Davin Larson(5) , Roberto Livi(5) , Phyllis Whittlesey(5)

(1) Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

(2) Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

(3)  University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

(4) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA

(5)  Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

(6) Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

(7)  LPC2E, CNRS, and University of Orleans, Orleans, France

(8)  School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

(9)  NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

(10) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

How to cite: Kromyda, L., Malaspina, D. M., Ergun, R. E., Halekas, J., Stevens, M. L., Verniero, J. L., Vech, D., Chasapis, A., Bale, S. D., Bonnell, J. W., Dudok de Wit, T., Goetz, K., Goodrich, K., Harvey, P. R., MacDowall, R. J., Pulupa, M., Case, A. W., Kasper, J. C., Korreck, K. E., and Larson, D. E. and the Lily Kromyda: Electrostatic Waves with Rapid Frequency Shifts in the Solar Wind Sunward of 1/3 AU, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16103, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16103, 2021.

Rohit Chhiber et al.
Simulation results from a global magnetohydrodynamic model of the solar corona and the solar wind are compared with Parker Solar Probe's (PSP) observations during its first several orbits. The fully three-dimensional model (Usmanov et al., 2018, ApJ, 865, 25) is based on Reynolds-averaged mean-flow equations coupled with turbulence transport equations. The model accounts for effects of electron heat conduction, Coulomb collisions, Reynolds stresses, and heating of protons and electrons via nonlinear turbulent cascade. Turbulence transport equations for turbulence energy, cross helicity, and correlation length are solved concurrently with the mean-flow equations. We specify boundary conditions at the coronal base using solar synoptic magnetograms and calculate plasma, magnetic field, and turbulence parameters along the PSP trajectory. We also accumulate data from all orbits considered, to obtain the trends observed as a function of heliocentric distance. Comparison of simulation results with PSP data show general agreement. Finally, we generate synthetic fluctuations constrained by the local rms turbulence amplitude given by the model, and compare properties of this synthetic turbulence with PSP observations.

How to cite: Chhiber, R., Usmanov, A., Matthaeus, W., Goldstein, M., and Bandyopadhyay, R.: Large-scale Structure and Turbulence Transport in the Young Solar Wind – Comparison of Parker Solar Probe Observations with a Global 3D Reynolds-averaged MHD Model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12726, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12726, 2021.

Christopher Chen et al.

The fourth orbit of Parker Solar Probe (PSP) reached heliocentric distances down to 27.9 Rs, allowing solar wind turbulence and acceleration mechanisms to be studied in situ closer to the Sun than previously possible. The turbulence properties were found to be significantly different in the inbound and outbound portions of PSP's fourth solar encounter, likely due to the proximity to the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) in the outbound period. Near the HCS, in the streamer belt wind, the turbulence was found to have lower amplitudes, higher magnetic compressibility, a steeper magnetic field spectrum (with spectral index close to -5/3 rather than -3/2), a lower Alfvenicity, and a "1/f" break at much lower frequencies. These are also features of slow wind at 1 au, suggesting the near-Sun streamer belt wind to be the prototypical slow solar wind. The transition in properties occurs at a predicted angular distance of ~4 degrees from the HCS, suggesting ~8 degrees as the full-width of the streamer belt wind at these distances. While the majority of the Alfvenic turbulence energy fluxes measured by PSP are consistent with those required for reflection-driven turbulence models of solar wind acceleration, the fluxes in the streamer belt are significantly lower than the model predictions, suggesting that additional mechanisms are necessary to explain the acceleration of the streamer belt solar wind.

How to cite: Chen, C., Chandran, B., Woodham, L., Jones, S., Perez, J., Bourouaine, S., Bowen, T., Klein, K., Moncuquet, M., Kasper, J., and Bale, S.: The Near-Sun Streamer Belt Solar Wind: Turbulence and Solar Wind Acceleration, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3426, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3426, 2021.

Marco Velli et al.

Parker Solar Probe (PSP) measures the magnetic field and plasma parameters of the solar wind at unprecedentedly close distances to the Sun, providing a great opportunity to study the early-stage evolution of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in the solar wind. Here we use PSP data to explore the nature of solar wind turbulence focusing on the Alfvénic character and power spectra of the fluctuations and their dependence on heliocentric distance and context (i.e., large-scale solar wind properties), aiming to understand the role that different effects such as source properties, solar wind expansion, and stream interaction might play in determining the turbulent state. We carried out a statistical survey of the data from the first five orbits of PSP with a focus on how the fluctuation properties at the large MHD scales vary with different solar wind streams and the distance from the Sun. A more in-depth analysis from several selected periods is also presented. Our results show that as fluctuations are transported outward by the solar wind, the magnetic field spectrum steepens while the shape of the velocity spectrum remains unchanged. The steepening process is controlled by the age of the turbulence, which is determined by the wind speed together with the radial distance. Statistically, faster solar wind has higher Alfvénicity with a more dominant outward propagating wave component and more balanced magnetic and kinetic energies. The outward wave dominance gradually weakens with radial distance, while the excess of magnetic energy is found to be stronger as we move closer toward the Sun. We show that the turbulence properties can significantly vary from stream to stream even if these streams are of a similar speed, indicating very different origins of these streams. Especially, the slow wind that originates near the polar coronal holes has much lower Alfvénicity compared with the slow wind that originates from the active regions and pseudostreamers. We show that structures such as the heliospheric current sheet and wind stream velocity shears can play an important role in modifying the properties of the turbulence.

*The PSP Team: Stuart D.Bale,  Justin Kasper, Kelly Korreck, J. W. Bonnell, Thierry Dudok de Wit, Keith Goetz, Peter R. Harvey, Robert J. MacDowall, David Malaspina, Marc Pulupa, Anthony W.Case, Davin Larson,  Jenny Verniero, Roberto Livi, Michael Stevens, PhyllisWhittlesey, Milan Maksimovic, and Michel Moncuquet

How to cite: Velli, M., Shi, C., Panasenco, O., Tenerani, A., Reville, V., and Team, T. P.: Alfvénic versus non-Alfvénic turbulence in the inner heliosphere as observed by Parker Solar Probe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12876, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12876, 2021.

Thomas Woolley et al.

The slow solar wind is thought to consist of a component originating close to the Heliospheric Current Sheet (HCS) in the streamer belt and a component from over-expanded coronal hole boundaries. In order to understand the roles of these contributions with different origin, it is important to separate and characterise them. By exploiting the fact that Parker Solar Probe’s fourth and fifth orbits were the same and the solar conditions were similar, we identify intervals of slow polar coronal hole wind sampled at approximately the same heliocentric distance and latitude. Here, solar wind properties are compared, highlighting typical conditions of the slow coronal hole wind closer to the Sun than ever before. We explore different properties of the plasma, including composition, spectra and microphysics, and discuss possible origins for the features that are observed.

How to cite: Woolley, T., Matteini, L., Horbury, T. S., Laker, R., Woodham, L. D., Bale, S. D., Stawarz, J. E., Berčič, L., McManus, M. D., and Badman, S. T.: Characterisation and comparison of slow coronal hole wind intervals at 0.13au, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15512, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15512, 2021.

Léa Griton et al.

Different states of the slow solar wind are identified from in-situ measurements by Parker Solar Probe (PSP) inside 50 solar radii from the Sun (Encounters 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6). At such distances the wind measured at PSP has not yet undergone significant transformation related to the expansion and propagation of the wind. We focus in this study on the properties of the quiet solar wind with no magnetic switchbacks. The Slow Solar Wind (SSW) states differ by their density, flux, plasma beta and magnetic pressure. PSP's magnetic connectivity established with Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) reconstructions, tested against extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and white-light imaging, reveals the different states under study generally correspond to transitions from streamers to equatorial coronal holes. Solar wind simulations run along these differing flux tubes reproduce the slower and denser wind measured in the streamer and the more tenuous wind measured in the coronal hole. Plasma heating is more intense at the base of the streamer field lines rooted near the boundary of the equatorial hole than those rooted closer to the center of the hole. This results in a higher wind flux driven inside the streamer than deeper inside the equatorial hole. 

How to cite: Griton, L., Watson, S., Poirier, N., Rouillard, A., Issautier, K., Moncuquet, M., Pinto, R., Bale, S., and Kasper, J.: Source-dependent properties of the background slow solar wind encountered by Parker Solar Probe, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14779, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14779, 2021.

Zdeněk Němeček et al.

The solar wind non-radial velocity components observed beyond the Alfvén point are usually attributed to waves, the interaction of different streams, or other transient phenomena. However, Earth-orbiting spacecraft as well as monitors at L1 indicate systematic deviations of the wind velocity from the radial direction. Since these deviations are of the order of several degrees, the calibration of the instruments is often questioned. This paper investigates for the first time the evolution of non-radial components of the solar wind flow along the path from ≈ 0.17 to 10 AU. A comparison of observations at 1 AU with those closer to or farther from the Sun based on measurements of many spacecraft at different locations in the heliosphere (Parker Solar Probe, Helios 1 and 2, Wind, ACE, Spektr-R, ARTEMIS probes, MAVEN, Voyagers 1and 2) shows that (i) the average values of non-radial components are not zero and vary in a systematic manner with the distance from the Sun, (ii) their values significantly depend on the solar wind radial velocity, (iii) the deviation from radial direction well correlates with the cross-helicity, and (iv) the values of non-radial components peaks at 0.25 AU and gradually decreases toward zero in the outer heliosphere. Our results suggest that the difference in the propagation direction between the faster and slower winds is already established in the solar corona and is connected with the forces emitting solar wind plasma from the coronal magnetic field. The correlation with cross-helicity probably points to outward propagating Alfven waves generated in outer corona as the most probable source of observed deviations.

How to cite: Němeček, Z., Ďurovcová, T., Šafránková, J., Richardson, J. D., Šimůnek, J., and Stevens, M. L.: Evolution of the Solar Wind Direction through the Heliosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2877, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2877, 2021.

Die Duan et al.
The 4th encounter (~30 Rs away from the sun) of the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is a great opportunity to observe the radial evolution of the solar wind from the inner heliosphere to the near-earth environment when the sun, PSP, and the earth are quasi-radial aligned. Similar features of the solar wind are observed from both PSP and Wind (at 1 au) measurements. The accelerating-solar-wind model could be more suitable than the constant speed model for the observation, which means the solar wind is still accelerating from 30 Rs to 1 au. Both PSP and Wind measure the co-existence of the Alfvenic and compressive fluctuations in the solar wind. The correlated radial velocity (dVR), proton density (dn) and temperature (dT) fluctuations indicate the nature of the compressive fluctuations are outward-propagating slow waves. However, dn and dB is not correlated from PSP, but correlated from Wind, which indicates the propagating direction of the slow waves is changed. Comparing the radial evolution of the energies of both Alfvenic and compressive fluctuations with the WKB model, we find the observed energy decays slower than the theoretical prediction, which indicates an extra energy injection during the solar wind propagation.

How to cite: Duan, D., He, J., Zhu, X., Verscharen, D., Bowen, T., Badman, S., and Bale, S.: Radial Evolution of the Solar Wind and Associating Turbulence Based on the Synergetic Measurement from Parker Solar Probe and 1 au Observations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15718, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15718, 2021.

Chuanpeng Hou et al.

Parker Solar Probe’s (PSP) observations near the sun show the extensive presence of magnetic field kinks (switchback for large kinks) in the slow solar wind. These kinks are usually accompanied by the enhancement of radial solar wind velocity and ion temperature, increasing or decreasing of number density. The magnetic field kinks have also been observed by WIND and Ulysses to exist near and beyond 1 AU, respectively. In this study, we statistically analyze the property difference of magnetic field kinks observed by PSP and WIND. We obtain the following four points of results. (1) Inside the PSP-kinks, the radial velocity and protons’ temperature increase while density shows enhancement or descent. However, inside the WIND-kinks, besides the slight enhancement of radial velocity, the density and temperature show no obvious change compared with the outside plasma. (2) By employing the Walen-test of kinks, we find that, R components of some PSP-kinks but not all satisfy the rotational discontinuity (RD) features, while the three components of most WIND-kinks well match the RD features. (3) The correlation between magnetic field and velocity inside the PSP-kinks and WIND-kinks does not show significant differences. (4) Both the PSP-kinks and WIND-kinks can be divided into two groups based on the histograms of θBn, where B is the background magnetic field, and n is the normal direction of kink. The first group (group-I) has θBn concentrating around 20° for PSP-kinks and 30° for WIND-kinks, indicating that the satellites were crossing the same kinked interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) from the upstream to the downstream. The second group (group-II) has θBn concentrating around 90° for PSP-kinks and WIND-kinks, suggesting that the satellites were crossing an interface between the unkinked and kinked IMF regions. Our findings help better understanding the nature of kinks and provide the observational basis for testifying models about radial propagation and evolution of magnetic field kinks.

How to cite: Hou, C., Zhu, X., Zhuo, R., and He, J.: Statistical Differences of Magnetic Field Kinks Observed by PSP and WIND, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14696, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14696, 2021.

Saliha Eren and Ingrid Mann

This presentation is related to model calculations of the circumsolar dust brightness that is seen in the F-corona and inner Zodiacal light. We calculate the brightness integral that includes the size distribution of the interplanetary dust, the spatial distribution, and the scattering properties. The scattering properties are estimated with Mie calculations of spherical particles consisting of astronomical silicate. We consider different size distributions of the dust particles with sizes between 1 nanometre - 100 micrometre. It was recently discussed that the extension of the dust-free zone can be inferred from the slope of the F-corona brightness seen in new observations received from the WISPR instrument on the NASA Parker Solar Probe (Stenborg et al., 2020). We, therefore, investigate the influence of the dust-free zone on the brightness and compare it to the influence that the dust size distribution has.


1. G. Stenborg, R. A. Howard, P. Hess, B. Gallagher, PSP/WISPR observations of dust density depletion near the Sun I. Remote observations to 8 Rsol from an observer between 0.13-0.35 AU, A&A, Forthcoming article, 2020. DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202039284

How to cite: Eren, S. and Mann, I.: The influence of the dust-free zone on F-corona brightness, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6303, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6303, 2021.

Yu Chen et al.

Magnetic flux rope, formed by the helical magnetic field lines, can sometimes remain its shape while carrying significant plasma flow that is aligned with the local magnetic field. We report the existence of such structures and static flux ropes by applying the Grad-Shafranov-based algorithm to the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) in-situ measurements in the first five encounters. These structures are detected at heliocentric distances, ranging from 0.13 to 0.66 au, in a total of 4-month time period. We find that flux ropes with field-aligned flows have certain properties similar to those of static flux ropes, such as the decaying relations of the magnetic fields within structures with respect to heliocentric distances. Moreover, these events are more likely with magnetic pressure dominating over the thermal pressure and occurring more frequently in the relatively fast-speed solar wind. Taking into account the high Alfvenicity, we also compare these events with switchbacks and present the cross-section maps via the new Grad-Shafranov type reconstruction. Finally, the possible evolution and relaxation of the magnetic flux rope structures are discussed.

How to cite: Chen, Y., Hu, Q., and Zhao, L.: Small-scale Magnetic Flux Ropes with Field-aligned Flows via the PSP In-situ Observations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8043, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8043, 2021.

Chen Shi et al.

Magnetic flux ropes can play important roles in transferring the mass, momentum, and energy in the interplanetary environment and in affecting space weather. Small-scale flux ropes (SFRs) are common in the interplanetary environment. However, SFRs with medium and high Alfvénicity are generally discarded in previous identification procedures. Using Parker Solar Probe measurements, we identify an SFR event with medium Alfvénicity in the inner heliosphere (at ~ 0.2 au). Based on high correlations between the magnetic field and velocity fluctuations, we show Alfvénic waves arising inside such SFR. We also show occurrence of quasi-monochromatic electromagnetic waves at the leading and trailing edges of this SFR. These waves are well explained by the outward-propagating ion-cyclotron waves, which have wave frequencies ~ 0.03 - 0.3 Hz and wavelengths ~ 60 - 2000 km in the plasma frame. Furthermore, we show that the power spectral density of the magnetic field in SFR middle region follows the power-law distribution, where the spectral index changes from -1.5 (f <~ 1 Hz) to -3.3 (f >~ 1 Hz). These findings would motivate developing an automated program to identify SFRs with medium and high Alfvénicity from Alfvénic waves structures.

How to cite: Shi, C., Zhao, J., Huang, J., Wang, T., Wu, D., Chen, Y., Hu, Q., Kasper, J. C., and Bale, S. D.: Parker Solar Probe Observations of Alfvénic Waves and Ion-cyclotron Waves in a Small-scale Flux Rope, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14934, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14934, 2021.

Francesco Pecora et al.

Plasma turbulence can be viewed as a magnetic landscape populated by large- and small-scale coherent structures, consisting notionally of magnetic flux tubes and their boundaries. Such structures exist over a wide range of scales and exhibit diverse morphology and plasma properties.  Moreover, interactions of particles with turbulence may involve temporary trapping in, as well as exclusion from, certain regions of space, generally controlled by the topology and connectivity of the magnetic field.  In some cases, such as SEP "dropouts'' the influence of the magnetic structure is dramatic; in other cases, it is more subtle, as in edge effects in SEP confinement. With Parker Solar Probe now closer to the sun than any previous mission, novel opportunities are available for examination of the relationship between magnetic flux structures and energetic particle populations. 

We present a method that is able to characterize both the large- and small-scale structures of the turbulent solar wind, based on the combined use of a filtered magnetic helicity (Hm) and the partial variance of increments (PVI). The synergistic combination with energetic particle measurements suggests whether these populations are either trapped within or excluded from the helical structure.

This simple, single-spacecraft technique exploits the natural tendency of flux tubes to assume a cylindrical symmetry of the magnetic field about a central axis. Moreover, large helical magnetic tubes might be separated by small-scale magnetic reconnection events (current sheets) and present magnetic discontinuity with the ambient solar wind. The method was first validated via direct numerical simulations of plasma turbulence and then applied to data from the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission. In particular, ISOIS energetic particle (EP) measurements along with FIELDS magnetic field measurements and SWEAP plasma moments, are enabling characterization of observations of EPs closer to their sources than ever before.
This novel analysis, combining Hm and PVI methods, reveals that a large number of flux tubes populate the solar wind and continuously merge in contact regions where magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration may occur. Moreover, the detection of boundaries, correlated with high-energy particle measurements, gives more insights into the nature of such helical structures as "excluding barriers'' suggesting a strong link between particle properties and fields topology. This research is partially supported by the Parker Solar Probe project. 

How to cite: Pecora, F., Servidio, S., Greco, A., Bale, S. D., McComas, D. J., Joyce, C. J., and Matthaeus, W. H.: Flux tubes and energetic particles in Parker Solar Probe orbit 5: magnetic helicity - PVI method and ISOIS observations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9911, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9911, 2021.

William Matthaeus et al.

In 2020 May-June, six solar energetic ion events were observed by the Parker Solar Probe/ISoIS instrument suite at ~0.35 AU from the Sun.  From standard velocity-dispersion analysis, the apparent ion path length is ~0.625 AU at the onset of each event. We develop a formalism for estimating the path length of random-walking magnetic field lines, to explain why the apparent ion path length at event onset greatly exceeds the radial distance from the Sun for these events. We developed analytical estimates of the average increase in path length of random-walking magnetic field lines, relative to the unperturbed mean field. Both a simple estimate and a rigorous theoretical formulation are obtained for field-lines' path length increase as a function of path length along the large-scale field. Monte Carlo simulations of field line and particle trajectories in a model of solar wind turbulence are used to validate the formalism and study the path lengths of particle guiding-center and full-orbital trajectories. From these simulated trajectories, we find that particle guiding centers can have path lengths somewhat shorter than the average field line path length, while particle orbits can have substantially larger path lengths due to their gyromotion with a nonzero effective pitch angle. The formalism is also implemented in a global solar wind model, and results are compared with ion path lengths inferred from ISoIS observations. The long apparent pathlength during these solar energetic ion events can be explained by 1) a magnetic field line path length increase due to the field line random walk, and 2) particle transport about the guiding center with nonzero effective pitch angle due to pitch angle scattering. This research partially supported by the PSP /ISOIS project.

How to cite: Matthaeus, W., Chhiber, R., Cohen, C. M. S., Ruffolo, D., Sonsrettee, W., Tooprakai, P., Seripienlert, A., Chuychai, P., Usmanov, A. V., Goldstein, M. L., and McComas, D. J. and the PSP/ISOIS Team: Magnetic Field Line Random Walk and Solar Energetic Particle Path Lengths, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13959, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13959, 2021.

Meet the authors in their breakout text chats

A chat user is typing ...