The turbulent cascade and proton heating in the solar wind during solar minimum

Jesse T. Coburn, Charles W. Smith, Bernard J. Vasquez, Julia Stawarz, Miriam A. Forman

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43 Citations (Scopus)


The recently protracted solar minimum provided years of interplanetary data that were largely absent in any association with observed large-scale transient behavior on the Sun. With large-scale shear at 1 AU generally isolated to corotating interaction regions, it is reasonable to ask whether the solar wind is significantly turbulent at this time. We perform a series of third-moment analyses using data from the Advanced Composition Explorer. We show that the solar wind at 1 AU is just as turbulent as at any other time in the solar cycle. Specifically, the turbulent cascade of energy scales in the same manner proportional to the product of wind speed and temperature. Energy cascade rates during solar minimum average a factor of 2–4 higher than during solar maximum, but we contend that this is likely the result of having a different admixture of high-latitude sources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number93
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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