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Possible Evidence for Shear-driven Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability along the Boundary of Fast and Slow Solar Wind in the Corona

AuthorTelloni, Daniele; Adhikari, Laxman; Zank, Gary; Zhao, Lingling; Sorriso-Valvo, Luca; Antonucci, Ester; Giordano, Silvio; Mancuso, Salvatore;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Magnetohydrodynamics; Theoretical models; Time series analysis; Solar corona; Solar coronal heating; Solar coronal holes; Solar coronal streamers; Solar oscillations; Solar ultraviolet emission; 1964; 2107; 1916; 1483; 1989; 1484; 1486; 1515; 1533
AbstractThis paper reports the first possible evidence for the development of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability at the border of coronal holes separating the associated fast wind from the slower wind originating from adjacent streamer regions. Based on a statistical data set of spectroscopic measurements of the UV corona acquired with the UltraViolet Coronagraph Spectrometer on board the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory during the minimum activity of solar cycle 22, high temperature-velocity correlations are found along the fast/slow solar wind interface region and interpreted as manifestations of KH vortices formed by the roll-up of the shear flow, whose dissipation could lead to higher heating and, because of that, higher velocities. These observational results are supported by solving coupled solar wind and turbulence transport equations including a KH-driven source of turbulence along the tangential velocity discontinuity between faster and slower coronal flows: numerical analysis indicates that the correlation between the solar wind speed and temperature is large in the presence of the shear source of turbulence. These findings suggest that the KH instability may play an important role both in the plasma dynamics and in the energy deposition at the boundaries of coronal holes and equatorial streamers.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages98
Date Publishedapr