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Intermittent release of transients in the slow solar wind: 2. In situ evidence

By A. P. Rouillard, B. Lavraud, J. A. Davies, N. P. Savani, L. F. Burlaga, R. J. Forsyth, J.-A. Sauvaud, A. Opitz, M. Lockwood, J. G. Luhmann, K. D. C. Simunac, A. B. Galvin, Chris J. Davis and R. A. Harrison


In paper 1, we showed that the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments on the pair of NASA STEREO spacecraft can be used to image the streamer belt and, in particular, the variability of the slow solar wind which originates near helmet streamers. The observation of intense intermittent transient outflow by HI implies that the corresponding in situ observations of the slow solar wind and corotating interaction regions (CIRs) should contain many signatures of transients. In the present paper, we compare the HI observations with in situ measurements from the STEREO and ACE spacecraft. Analysis of the solar wind ion, magnetic field, and suprathermal electron flux measurements from\ud the STEREO spacecraft reveals the presence of both closed and partially disconnected interplanetary magnetic field lines permeating the slow solar wind. We predict that one of the transients embedded within the second CIR (CIR‐D in paper 1) should impact the near‐Earth ACE spacecraft. ACE measurements confirm the presence of a transient at the time of CIR passage; the transient signature includes helical magnetic fields and bidirectional suprathermal electrons. On the same day, a strahl electron dropout is observed at STEREO‐B, correlated with the passage of a high plasma beta structure. Unlike ACE, STEREO‐B observes the transient a few hours ahead of the CIR. STEREO‐A, STEREO‐B, and ACE spacecraft observe very different slow solar wind properties ahead of and during the CIR analyzed in this paper, which we associate with the intermittent release of transients

Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2010
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