The solar wind (in 90 minutes) Mathew Owens

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1 The solar wind (in 90 minutes) Mathew Owens 5 th Sept 2013 STFC Advanced Summer School

2 Overview There s simply too much to cover in 90 minutes Hope to touch on: Formation of the solar wind and the Heliosphere Parker Spiral Three-dimensional solar wind Structure: Corotating interaction regions and transients Solar wind variability over centuries/millenia Apologies to: Turbulence and fine-scale structure Space weather Magnetospheric and ionospheric physics Solar-climate studies 2

3 Sunspots evidence of photospheric structure

4 Eclipses evidence of a solar atmosphere STFC Summer School

5 Carrington - evidence for particles from the Sun 11:18am, 1 September 1859, Redhill Richard Carrington: observed a very bright flare on the Sun Next day: auroras down to very low latitudes (Cuba, Hawaii) Telegraph systems disrupted Evidence for particles from the Sun, travelling at ~2000 km/s to the Earth Corpuscular radiation STFC Summer School

6 Evidence of a constant wind - Comet tails evidence of a solar wind comets Biermann (1951): non-radial comet tails imply constant wind of few hundred km/s STFC Summer School

7 Temperature (K) Coronal temperatures K K K K Height above photosphere (km) K braiding of magnetic field by photospheric motions is central to coronal heating

8 Origin of the solar wind Magnetic carpet of loops Most closed, some extend far above solar surface Plasma flows out along field lines into space STFC Summer School

9 Solar wind source: corona Hot corona has much higher pressure than interstellar medium Thermal scale height greater than gravitational scale height Can t balance pressures with a static corona (Parker, 1957) Corona expands into space, forming the solar wind Note: in lower corona, plasma <<1: plasma follows field STFC Summer School

10 Parker s solution Parker(1958) was the first to propose a model of the solar wind assuming a steady flow of plasma independent of time, as opposed to a static corona. He began from the mass and momentum conservation equations, taking time derivatives as zero since considering a steady flow. u 0 u. u p j B F g Found a solution of the form u 2 2kBT 1 du 4 m u dr kbt mr GM r 2 S

11 Possible solutions of the Parker solar wind equation

12 First solar wind observations Mariner 2 in

13 The heliosphere The cavity in our local interstellar wind termination shock heliopause interstellar wind dominated by the solar wind and Sun s magnetic field heliosheath bow shock

14 MHD simulations of the heliosphere Solar wind is confined in a cavity in interstellar space called the heliosphere that surrounds all the planets of the solar system Density is enhanced behind bow shock in heliosheath Termination shock heliopause heliosheath interstellar wind bow shock

15 A stellarsphere Hubble observations of the heliosheath behind the bow shock where the heliosphere of LL Ori heliosphere meets its (dense) local interstellar wind in the Orion nebula heliosheath bow shock interstellar wind heliopause

16 A stellarsphere Gemini adaptive optics observations near the galactic centre bow shock fast-moving star galactic centre heliosheath

17 Frozen-in theorem: The convective limit THE INDUCTION EQUATION B/ t = (V B ) + 2 B /( o ) convective term MAGNETIC REYNOLDS NUMBER diffusive term R m = { (V B ) } / { 2 B /( o )} { (V B ) } V c B c / L c ; { 2 B /( o ) } {B c / L c 2 } {1/( o )} Thus R m o V c L c Region (mhos m -1 ) V c (m s -1 ) L c (m) R m Base of corona AU Thus R m o V c L c >> 1 so B/ t = (V B ) this is the convective limit & leads to the frozen-in flux theorem

18 Frozen-in theorem: The convective limit ( by definition of B ) Charged particle motions Magnetic Field B Lorentz Force B B

19 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 1 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

20 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 2 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

21 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 3 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

22 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 4 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

23 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 5 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

24 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 6 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

25 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 7 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

26 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 8 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

27 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 9 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

28 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 10 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

29 Parker spiral Solar wind flow is radial Sun Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure 11 Field is frozen-in to the solar wind flow

30 Interplanetary scintillation

31 Interplanetary scintillation Solar rotation and radial solar wind generates a Parker spiral field structure Co-rotates with the solar corona (every 27 days in Earth s frame)

32 X-ray observations of flare particles Tracked by Ulysses satellite, looking down on ecliptic plane from over solar pole, using X-rays generated by super-thermal flare electrons moving along the field lines through the thermal solar wind

33 Calculating the Parker Spiral t left Sun at time t V SW t left Sun at time t+ t r r r t tan = r t / (V SW t) = tan -1 (r /V SW ) Sun

34 Observations of the spiral angle Y X X V sw = km s -1 Y X X V sw = km s -1 Colour histograms: Observed distributions of for , divided into 9 V SW ranges giving equal numbers of samples (grey) range and (black) average predicted by frozen-in = tan -1 {V SW /(r )} Y V sw = km s -1 Y V sw = km s -1 Spiral unwinds for higher V sw - as predicted by thory

35 Observations of the spiral angle V sw = km s -1

36 Observations of the spiral angle V sw = km s -1

37 Observations of the spiral angle V sw = km s -1

38 Observations of the spiral angle V sw = km s -1

39 Parker spiral angle at 1 AU 39

40 Solar wind effect on the corona The heliospheric magnetic field is a result of the Sun s magnetic field being carried outward, frozen in to the solar wind. Within the corona, the magnetic field forces dominate the plasma forces. As the field strength decreases with distance, beyond the Alfvén radius at a few solar radii, the plasma flow becomes dominant, and the field lines are constrained to move with the solar wind. Model of Pneumann and Kopp (1971)

41 Modelling the corona 41

42 The coronal source surface 42

43 PFSS solutions Magnetic field polarity at coronal source surface 43

44 Ulysses

45 Three-dimensional structure of interplanetary magnetic field 45

46 Heliospheric Ulysses passages above the current maximum latitude sheet of the current sheet STFC Advanced Summer School

47 Ulysses fast latitude scans 1 st - near sunspot min 2 nd - near sunspot max

48 B R invariance with latitude Radial flow at r > 10R S with B r independent of latitude V SW N Sun S Slight non-radial flow at r > 10R S to equalise P t & thus B r B r tangential pressure, P t B r2 / 2 o (as << 1)

49 Open Solar Flux Flux threading the coronal source surface closed field line Unsigned Flux, F U = + /2 2 - /2 0 B R r 2 cos( ) d d r = heliocentric distance B R = radial field = solar latitude = solar longitude open field lines STFC Advanced Summer School

50 Open solar flux 50

51 Solar wind speed Sunspot minimum FAST Solar Wind in coronal holes SLOW Solar Wind in equatorial streamer belt Red = inward field Blue = outward field

52 Close to solar minimum the flow pattern close to the Sun can be approximated as a band of slow wind at low latitudes, centred on the Sun s dipole equator, with fast wind at all higher latitudes. This pattern of fast and slow solar wind is occasionally disturbed by transient flows associated with coronal mass ejections. Pizzo (1991) STFC Advanced Summer School

53 Solar cycle evolution of speed

54 Characteristics of slow and fast solar wind Property at 1 AU Slow wind Fast wind Speed (v) ~400 km/s ~750 km/s Number density (n) ~10 cm 3 ~3 cm 3 Flux (nv) ~ cm 2 s 1 ~ cm 2 s 1 Magnetic field (Br) ~3 nt ~3 nt Proton temperature (Tp) ~ K ~ K Electron temperature(te) ~ K (>Tp) ~ K (<Tp) Composition (He/H) ~1 30% ~5% STFC Advanced Summer School

55 Ionisation states Heavy ions (oxygen, carbon, magnesium) occur in small quantities in solar wind Ionisation states determined by temperature of plasma when collisional, in corona When collisionless, ionisation stares don t change Freezing-in temperature temperature of solar wind when collisions stop Diagnostic of conditions in corona where solar wind originates Very different in fast and slow solar wind STFC Summer School

56 Loop opening

57 Imaging the solar wind 57

58 Interaction of fast and slow wind If fast and slow solar wind streams at same latitude, fast can overtake slow Interaction: compression, can drive shocks 58

59 V (km/s) V T, V N (km/s) n p (cm -3 ) T p (x10 5 K) B (nt) B, B P Total (npa) V T V N FS HCS SI RW Day of 1992 B B In situ observations 59

60 Transient events - CMEs 60

61 In situ observations 61

62 Interaction with magnetosphere 62

63 Generation of energetic particles

64 Suprathermal electrons Owens and Crooker, 2008

65 CMEs add magnetic flux to the heliosphere 65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

73 Cosmic rays Sunspot Number Huancauyo Hawaii neutron monitor counts (>13GV) Climax neutron monitor counts (>3GV)

74 14 C & 10 Be: spallation products from O, N & Ar 14 C 1/2 = 5370 yr < q G > = 2 atoms cm -2 s -1 GALACTIC COSMIC RAYS STRATOSPHERE ( 2/3) 10 Be 1/2 = yr < q G > = atoms cm -2 s C+0 14 C0 ; 14 C0+0H 14 C0 2 + H TROPOSPHERE ( 1/3) OCEANS ( ~1 year) ( ~1 week) 10 Be + AEROSOL BIOMASS ICE SHEETS

75 HMF reconstructions 75

76 Solar Modulation Parameter, (MV) Millennial Variation composite (40-year means) from cosmogenic isotopes 14 C & 10 Be 1000 we are still within recent grand maximum Year AD

77 Open questions Where does slow solar wind come from? How is the corona heated and the solar wind accelerated? What is the structure of the heliopause? How do CMEs mediate the solar cycle? How does the Sun evolve over centennial and millennial timescales? 77

78 The Future Solar Orbiter ESA-led mission Close to the Sun (0.23 AU) Orbit inclination to ecliptic (30 degrees) Launch in 2017? Lots of UK involvement (magnetometer at Imperial,, electron detector at MSSL) 78

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