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Langmuir-Slow Extraordinary Mode Magnetic Signature Observations with Parker Solar Probe

AuthorLarosa, A.; de Wit, Dudok; Krasnoselskikh, V.; Bale, S.~D.; Agapitov, O.; Bonnell, J.; Froment, C.; Goetz, K.; Harvey, P.; Halekas, J.; Kretzschmar, M.; MacDowall, R.; Malaspina, David; Moncuquet, M.; Niehof, J.; Pulupa, M.; Revillet, C.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Solar wind; Plasma physics; Space plasmas; 1534; 2089; 1544
AbstractRadio emission from interplanetary shocks, planetary foreshocks, and some solar flares occurs in the so-called plasma emission framework. The generally accepted scenario begins with electrostatic Langmuir waves that are driven by a suprathermal electron beam on the Landau resonance. These Langmuir waves then mode-convert to freely propagating electromagnetic emissions at the local plasma frequency f $_ pe $ and/or its harmonic 2f $_ pe $. However, the details of the physics of mode conversion are unclear, and so far the magnetic component of the plasma waves has not been definitively measured. Several spacecraft have measured quasi-monochromatic Langmuir or slow extraordinary modes (sometimes called z-modes) in the solar wind. These coherent waves are expected to have a weak magnetic component, which has never been observed in an unambiguous way. Here we report on the direct measurement of the magnetic signature of these waves using the Search Coil Magnetometer sensor of the Parker Solar Probe/FIELDS instrument. Using simulations of wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma, we show that the appearance of the magnetic component of the slow extraordinary mode is highly influenced by the presence of density inhomogeneities that occasionally cause the refractive index to drop to low values where the wave has strong electromagnetic properties.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages95
Date Publishedmar