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The S-Web Origin of Composition Enhancement in the Slow-to-moderate Speed Solar Wind

AuthorLynch, B.~J.; Viall, N.~M.; Higginson, A.~K.; Zhao, L.; Lepri, S.~T.; Sun, X.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Slow solar wind; Solar magnetic reconnection; Space plasmas; interplanetary turbulence; Solar Physics; Solar magnetic fields; Heliosphere; 1873; 1504; 1544; 830; 1476; 1503; 711; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Physics - Space Physics
AbstractConnecting the solar wind observed throughout the heliosphere to its origins in the solar corona is one of the central aims of heliophysics. The variability in the magnetic field, bulk plasma, and heavy ion composition properties of the slow wind are thought to result from magnetic reconnection processes in the solar corona. We identify regions of enhanced variability and composition in the solar wind from 2003 April 15 to May 13 (Carrington Rotation 2002), observed by the Wind and Advanced Composition Explorer spacecraft, and demonstrate their relationship to the separatrix-web (hereafter, S-Web) structures describing the corona s large-scale magnetic topology. There are four pseudostreamer (PS) wind intervals and two helmet streamer (HS) heliospheric current sheet/plasma sheet crossings (and an interplanetary coronal mass ejection), which all exhibit enhanced alpha-to-proton ratios and/or elevated ionic charge states of carbon, oxygen, and iron. We apply the magnetic helicity-partial variance of increments (H $_ m $-PVI) procedure to identify coherent magnetic structures and quantify their properties during each interval. The mean duration of these structures are \raisebox-0.5ex\textasciitilde1 hr in both the HS and PS wind. We find a modest enhancement above the power-law fit to the PVI waiting-time distribution in the HS- associated wind at the 1.5-2 hr timescales that is absent from the PS intervals. We discuss our results in the context of previous observations of the \raisebox-0.5ex\textasciitilde90 minutes periodic density structures in the slow solar wind, further development of the dynamic S-Web model, and future Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter joint observational campaigns.
Year of Publication2023
Number of Pages14
Date Publishedmay