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Title: Evolution of turbulence in the expanding solar wind, a numerical study

We study the evolution of turbulence in the solar wind by solving numerically the full three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations embedded in a radial mean wind. The corresponding equations (expanding box model or EBM) have been considered earlier but never integrated in 3D simulations. Here, we follow the development of turbulence from 0.2 AU up to about 1.5 AU. Starting with isotropic spectra scaling as k {sup –1}, we observe a steepening toward a k {sup –5/3} scaling in the middle of the wave number range and formation of spectral anisotropies. The advection of a plasma volume by the expanding solar wind causes a non-trivial stretching of the volume in directions transverse to radial and the selective decay of the components of velocity and magnetic fluctuations. These two effects combine to yield the following results. (1) Spectral anisotropy: gyrotropy is broken, and the radial wave vectors have most of the power. (2) Coherent structures: radial streams emerge that resemble the observed microjets. (3) Energy spectra per component: they show an ordering in good agreement with the one observed in the solar wind at 1 AU. The latter point includes a global dominance of the magnetic energy over kinetic energy inmore » the inertial and f {sup –1} range and a dominance of the perpendicular-to-the-radial components over the radial components in the inertial range. We conclude that many of the above properties are the result of evolution during transport in the heliosphere, and not just the remnant of the initial turbulence close to the Sun.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. LPP, Ecole Polytechnique, F-91128 Palaiseau (France)
  2. Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli studi di Firenze, Firenze (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370547
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 793; 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; ADVECTION; ANISOTROPY; BOX MODELS; DECAY; ENERGY SPECTRA; EQUATIONS; HELIOSPHERE; KINETIC ENERGY; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA; SCALING; SOLAR WIND; STAR EVOLUTION; STREAMS; SUN; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; TURBULENCE; VELOCITY