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Small-Scale Magnetic Holes in the Solar Wind Observed by Parker Solar Probe

AuthorYu, L.; Huang, S.~Y.; Yuan, Z.~G.; Jiang, K.; Wei, Y.~Y.; Zhang, J.; Xu, S.~B.; Xiong, Q.~Y.; Wang, Z.; Lin, R.~T.; Li, Y.~J.; Wang, C.~M.; Song, G.~J.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Solar wind; small-scale magnetic hole; PSP
AbstractThe small-scale magnetic hole (SSMH), characterized by magnetic field depression, is a structure with the size in the order of proton gyro-radius. SSMHs near the Earth or other planets have been widely observed in recent years. However, SSMHs in the solar wind near the Sun are rarely investigated due to mission constraints. In the present study, SSMHs in the pristine solar wind within a wide heliocentric distance range are analyzed based on the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) Mission measurements. A total of 2,416 SSMHs are successfully identified during the orbits of PSP from 2nd October, 2018, to 31st December, 2020, with an average occurrence rate of \ensuremath\sim5.8 events/day. The occurrence rate of SSMHs decreases from \ensuremath\sim29.5 to \ensuremath\sim0.6 events/day as the heliocentric distance R increases. The spatial scale of these SSMHs obeys a bi-log-normal distribution, with the median scale L \ensuremath\sim 137 km (\ensuremath\sim6 \ensuremath\rho$_p$, proton gyro-radius). As interplanetary magnetic field B$_ave$ increases or R decreases, the upper limit of the spatial scale L corresponding to each bin extends to a larger value. The L corresponding to the maximum occurrence rate also increases when B$_ave$ increases and R decreases. Besides, the SSMHs tend to occur more frequently in the solar wind environment with weak B$_ave$ and high thermal pressure P$_t$. Our results shed light on the characteristics and the origin of SSMHs in the pristine solar wind.
Year of Publication2022
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics)
Number of Pagese30505
Date Publishedaug