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Title: SMALL-SCALE PRESSURE-BALANCED STRUCTURES DRIVEN BY OBLIQUE SLOW MODE WAVES MEASURED IN THE SOLAR WIND

Recently, small-scale pressure-balanced structures (PBSs) were identified in the solar wind, but their formation mechanism remains unclear. This work aims to reveal the dependence of the properties of small-scale PBSs on the background magnetic field (B{sub 0}) direction and thus to corroborate the in situ mechanism that forms them. We analyze the plasma and magnetic field data obtained by WIND in the quiet solar wind at 1 AU. First, we use a developed moving-average method to obtain B{sub 0}(s, t) for every temporal scale (s) at each time moment (t). By wavelet cross-coherence analysis, we obtain the correlation coefficients between the thermal pressure P{sub th} and the magnetic pressure P{sub B}, distributing against the temporal scale and the angle {theta}{sub xB} between B{sub 0}(s, t) and Geocentric Solar Ecliptic coordinates (GSE)-x. We note that the angle coverage of a PBS decreases with shorter temporal scale, but the occurrence of the PBSs is independent of {theta}{sub xB}. Suspecting that the isolated small PBSs are formed by compressive waves in situ, we continue this study by testing the wave modes forming a small-scale PBS with B{sub 0}(s, t) quasi-parallel to GSE-x. As a result, we identify that the cross-helicity and the compressibilitymore » attain values for a slow mode from theoretical calculations. The wave vector is derived from minimum variance analysis. Besides, the proton temperatures obey T < T{sub Parallel-To} derived from the velocity distribution functions, excluding a mirror mode, which is the other candidate for the formation of PBSs in situ. Thus, a small-scale PBS is shown to be driven by oblique, slow-mode waves in the solar wind.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. School of Geophysics and Information Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083 (China)
  2. Department of Geophysics, Peking University, Beijing (China)
  3. Christian Albrechts University at Kiel, Kiel (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22133952
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPRESSIBILITY; COORDINATES; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; ECLIPSE; HELICITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; PRESSURE DEPENDENCE; PROTON TEMPERATURE; SOLAR WIND; VELOCITY