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Title: ION HEATING IN INHOMOGENEOUS EXPANDING SOLAR WIND PLASMA: THE ROLE OF PARALLEL AND OBLIQUE ION-CYCLOTRON WAVES

Remote sensing observations of coronal holes show that heavy ions are hotter than protons and their temperature is anisotropic. In-situ observations of fast solar wind streams provide direct evidence for turbulent Alfvén wave spectrum, left-hand polarized ion-cyclotron waves, and He{sup ++} - proton drift in the solar wind plasma, which can produce temperature anisotropies by resonant absorption and perpendicular heating of the ions. Furthermore, the solar wind is expected to be inhomogeneous on decreasing scales approaching the Sun. We study the heating of solar wind ions in inhomogeneous plasma with a 2.5D hybrid code. We include the expansion of the solar wind in an inhomogeneous plasma background, combined with the effects of a turbulent wave spectrum of Alfvénic fluctuations and initial ion-proton drifts. We study the influence of these effects on the perpendicular ion heating and cooling and on the spectrum of the magnetic fluctuations in the inhomogeneous background wind. We find that inhomogeneities in the plasma lead to enhanced heating compared to the homogenous solar wind, and the generation of significant power of oblique waves in the solar wind plasma. The cooling effect due to the expansion is not significant for super-Alfvénic drifts, and is diminished further when wemore » include an inhomogeneous background density. We reproduce the ion temperature anisotropy seen in observations and previous models, which is present regardless of the perpendicular cooling due to solar wind expansion. We conclude that small scale inhomogeneities in the inner heliosphere can significantly affect resonant wave ion heating.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel)
  2. Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 (United States)
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364461
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; 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; ALFVEN WAVES; ANISOTROPY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; FLUCTUATIONS; HEAVY IONS; HELIOSPHERE; HELIUM IONS; INHOMOGENEOUS PLASMA; ION PLASMA WAVES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA EXPANSION; PROTONS; SOLAR WIND; SUN