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Observations of Quiescent Solar Wind Regions with Near-f $_ce$ Wave Activity

AuthorShort, Benjamin; Malaspina, David; Halekas, Jasper; Romeo, Orlando; Verniero, J.~L.; Finley, Adam; Kasper, Justin; Rahmati, Ali; Bale, Stuart; Bonnell, John; Case, Anthony; de Wit, Thierry; Goetz, Keith; Goodrich, Katherine; Harvey, Peter; Korreck, Kelly; Larson, Davin; Livi, Roberto; MacDowall, Robert; Pulupa, Marc; Stevens, Michael; Whittlesey, Phyllis;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Solar wind; interplanetary turbulence; Space plasmas; Solar magnetic fields; Heliosphere; 1534; 830; 1544; 1503; 711
AbstractIn situ measurements in the near-Sun solar wind from the Parker Solar Probe have revealed the existence of quiescent solar wind regions: extended regions of solar wind with low-amplitude turbulent magnetic field fluctuations compared to adjacent regions. Identified through the study of harmonic waves near the electron cyclotron frequency (f $_ce$), these quiescent regions are shown to host a variety of plasma waves. The near-f $_ce$ harmonic waves are observed exclusively in quiescent regions, and as such, they can be used as markers for quiescent regions. A blob-finding algorithm is applied to data from Encounters 1-6 in order to identify near-f $_ce$ harmonic wave intervals and thereby locate quiescent regions. We carry out a superposed epoch analysis on the identified quiescent regions, and compare their bulk solar wind properties with adjacent regions of solar wind. Quiescent regions are found to contain relatively weak magnetic field variation and are entirely devoid of magnetic switchbacks. In the quiescent solar wind, the magnetic field closely follows the Parker spiral, while adjacent regions prefer more radial orientations, providing a clear picture of the magnetic geometry of these regions. Quiescent regions show minimal differences in multiple particle plasma parameters relative to the non-quiescent solar wind. The quiescent solar wind regions, studied throughout this work, are thought to represent the underlying solar wind, through which Alfv\ enic fluctuations propagate. Quantifying the properties of these regions may help to understand the formation/origin of the solar wind, and furthermore, to constrain the role that low- frequency Alfv\ en waves play in the regulation of solar wind temperature.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages45
Date Publishednov