We study the radial evolution of the intermittency of density fluctuations in the fast solar wind. The study is performed by analyzing the plasma density measurements provided by Helios 2 in the inner heliosphere between 0.3 and 0.9AU. The analysis is carried out by means of a complete set of diagnostic tools, including the flatness factor at different timescales to estimate intermittency, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to estimate the degree of intermittency, and the Fourier transform to estimate the power spectral densities of these fluctuations. Density fluctuations within the fast wind are rather intermittent and their level of intermittency, together with the amplitude of intermittent events, decreases with the distance from the Sun, at odds with the intermittency of both magnetic field and all other plasma parameters. Furthermore, the intermittent events are strongly correlated, exhibiting temporal clustering. This indicates that the mechanism underlying their generation departs from a time-varying Poisson process. A remarkable, qualitative similarity with the behavior of plasma density fluctuations obtained from a numerical study of the nonlinear evolution of parametric instability in the solar wind supports the idea that this mechanism has an important role in governing density fluctuations in the inner heliosphere.

Radial evolution of the intermittency of density fluctuations in the fast solar wind

PRIMAVERA, Leonardo;CARBONE, Vincenzo;Malara F.;VELTRI, Pierluigi
2014

Abstract

We study the radial evolution of the intermittency of density fluctuations in the fast solar wind. The study is performed by analyzing the plasma density measurements provided by Helios 2 in the inner heliosphere between 0.3 and 0.9AU. The analysis is carried out by means of a complete set of diagnostic tools, including the flatness factor at different timescales to estimate intermittency, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to estimate the degree of intermittency, and the Fourier transform to estimate the power spectral densities of these fluctuations. Density fluctuations within the fast wind are rather intermittent and their level of intermittency, together with the amplitude of intermittent events, decreases with the distance from the Sun, at odds with the intermittency of both magnetic field and all other plasma parameters. Furthermore, the intermittent events are strongly correlated, exhibiting temporal clustering. This indicates that the mechanism underlying their generation departs from a time-varying Poisson process. A remarkable, qualitative similarity with the behavior of plasma density fluctuations obtained from a numerical study of the nonlinear evolution of parametric instability in the solar wind supports the idea that this mechanism has an important role in governing density fluctuations in the inner heliosphere.
magnetohydrodynamics (MHD); data analysis; solar wind
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/140372
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