- Conference date: 17–22 June 2012
- Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Previous work has led to suggestions that core-beam distributions of ions in the fast polar solar wind could be caused either by wave-particle interactions in interplanetary space or by ejections of faster material into pre-existing flows. It has also been suggested that the many-hour-long high-speed structures, or microstreams, in the polar wind could be the interplanetary manifestation of solar X-ray jets observed in supergranule boundaries. Proton distribution functions both in the microstreams and in the ambient fast polar wind are examined to test the conjecture that solar ejections may play an important role in creating double proton beams. Double-peaked distributions in the microstreams that have the peak containing most of the particles (the core) being faster than the less-dense beam are suggestive of ejection of material that may have come from a jet. It is concluded, however, that those "backwards" distributions were caused by magnetic reversals, or switchbacks, rather than by the inclusion of faster material. Other than in the switchbacks, there is no qualitative difference between the double-proton streaming in the microstreams peaks and in the ambient wind. Evidence is provided that essentially all departures of the magnetic field from the dominant polarity of the polar wind are due to such switchbacks rather than to solar fields with non-dominant polarities. It is also shown that, in the fast polar solar wind, there are more short-duration switchbacks than longer ones and that the incidence of reversed fields increases with solar distance.
- Solar wind
- Magnetic materials
- Magnetic fields
- Particle distribution functions
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