Core Electron Heating by Triggered Ion Acoustic Waves in the Solar Wind

F. S. Mozer, S. D. Bale, C. A. Cattell, J. Halekas, I. Y. Vasko, J. L. Verniero, P. J. Kellogg

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Perihelion passes on Parker Solar Probe orbits 6-9 have been studied to show that solar wind core electrons emerged from 15 solar radii with a temperature of 55 ± 5 eV, independent of the solar wind speed, which varied from 300 to 800 km s-1. After leaving 15 solar radii and in the absence of triggered ion acoustic waves at greater distances, the core electron temperature varied with radial distance, R, in solar radii, as 1900R -4/3 eV because of cooling produced by the adiabatic expansion. The coefficient, 1900, reproduces the minimum core electron perpendicular temperature observed during the 25 days of observation. In the presence of triggered ion acoustic waves, the core electrons were isotropically heated as much as a factor of two above the minimum temperature, 1900R -4/3 eV. Triggered ion acoustic waves were the only waves observed in coincidence with the core electron heating. They are the dominant wave mode at frequencies greater than 100 Hz at solar distances between 15 and 30 solar radii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NASA contract NNN06AA01C. The authors acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft engineering team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. The FIELDS experiment on the Parker Solar Probe was designed and developed under NASA contract NNN06AA01C. Our sincere thanks to P. Harvey, K. Goetz, and M. Pulupa for managing the spacecraft commanding, data processing, and data analysis, which has become a heavy load thanks to the complexity of the instruments and the orbit. We also acknowledge the SWEAP team for providing the plasma data. The work of I.V. was supported by NASA Heliophysics Guest Investigator grant 80NSSC21K0581

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.


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