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

Recently, small-scale pressure-balanced structures (PBSs) have been studied with regard to their dependence on the direction of the local mean magnetic field B{sub 0} . The present work continues these studies by investigating the compressive wave mode forming small PBSs, here for B{sub 0} quasi-perpendicular to the x-axis of Geocentric Solar Ecliptic coordinates (GSE-x). All the data used were measured by WIND in the quiet solar wind. From the distribution of PBSs on the plane determined by the temporal scale and angle θ{sub xB} between the GSE-x and B{sub 0} , we notice that at θ{sub xB} = 115° the PBSs appear at temporal scales ranging from 700 s to 60 s. In the corresponding temporal segment, the correlations between the plasma thermal pressure P{sub th} and the magnetic pressure P{sub B}, as well as that between the proton density N{sub p} and the magnetic field strength B, are investigated. In addition, we use the proton velocity distribution functions to calculate the proton temperatures T and T{sub ∥}. Minimum Variance Analysis is applied to find the magnetic field minimum variance vector B{sub N} . We also study the time variation of the cross-helicity σ{sub c} and the compressibility C{sub p}more » and compare these with values from numerical predictions for the mirror mode. In this way, we finally identify a short segment that has T > T{sub ∥}, proton β ≅ 1, both pairs of P{sub th}-P{sub B} and N{sub p}-B showing anti-correlation, and σ{sub c} ≈ 0 with C{sub p} > 0. Although the examination of σ{sub c} and C{sub p} is not conclusive, it provides helpful additional information for the wave mode identification. Additionally, B{sub N} is found to be highly oblique to B{sub 0} . Thus, this work suggests that a candidate mechanism for forming small-scale PBSs in the quiet solar wind is due to mirror-mode waves.« 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 D-24118 (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270778
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 776; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COMPRESSIBILITY; CORRELATIONS; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; HELICITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MIRRORS; PLASMA; PROTON DENSITY; PROTON TEMPERATURE; SOLAR PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; TURBULENCE