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Title: THE ORIGIN OF NON-MAXWELLIAN SOLAR WIND ELECTRON VELOCITY DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION: CONNECTION TO NANOFLARES IN THE SOLAR CORONA

The formation of the observed core-halo feature in the solar wind electron velocity distribution function is a long-time puzzle. In this Letter, based on the current knowledge of nanoflares, we show that the nanoflare-accelerated electron beams are likely to trigger a strong electron two-stream instability that generates kinetic Alfvén wave and whistler wave turbulence, as we demonstrated in a previous paper. We further show that the core-halo feature produced during the origin of kinetic turbulence is likely to originate in the inner corona and can be preserved as the solar wind escapes to space along open field lines. We formulate a set of equations to describe the heating processes observed in the simulation and show that the core-halo temperature ratio of the solar wind is insensitive to the initial conditions in the corona and is related to the core-halo density ratio of the solar wind and to the quasi-saturation property of the two-stream instability at the time when the exponential decay ends. This relation can be extended to the more general core-halo-strahl feature in the solar wind. The temperature ratio between the core and hot components is nearly independent of the heliospheric distance to the Sun. We show that themore » core-halo relative drift previously reported is a relic of the fully saturated two-stream instability. Our theoretical results are consistent with the observations while new tests for this model are provided.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364505
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 795; 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; ACCELERATION; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; ELECTRON BEAMS; SCATTERING; SOLAR CORONA; SOLAR ELECTRONS; SOLAR WIND; STAR MODELS; SUN; TURBULENCE; TWO-STREAM INSTABILITY; VELOCITY; WHISTLERS