- Conference date: 25-30 Jun 1995
- Location: Dana Point, California (USA)
The Ulysses mission is providing the first opportunity to observe variations in solar wind plasma parameters at heliographic latitudes far removed from the ecliptic plane. We present here an overview of the solar wind speed and the variability in helium abundance, [He], for the entire mission to date, data on [He] in six high-latitude coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and a superposed epoch analysis of [He] variations at the seven heliospheric current sheet (HCS) crossings made during the rapid-latitude-scan portion of the mission. The differences in the variability of the solar wind speed and [He] in high-latitude and equatorial regions are quite striking. Solar wind speed is generally low but highly variable near the solar equator, while at higher latitudes the average speed is quite high (average speed around 760 km/s) with little variability. [He] can vary over nearly two decades at low solar latitudes, while at high latitudes it varies only slightly around an average value of In contrast to the high [He] that is often associated with CMEs observed near the ecliptic, none of the six high-speed CMEs encountered at high southern heliographic latitudes showed any significant variation in helium content from average values. Reasons for this difference between high and low latitude CME observations are not yet understood. A superposed epoch analysis of the [He] during all seven HCS crossings made as Ulysses passed from the southern to northern solar hemisphere shows the expected [He] minimum near the crossing and a broad period of low [He] around the crossing time. We briefly discuss how our solar wind [He] observations may provide an accurate measure of the helium composition for all regions of the sun lying above the helium ionization zone.
- Solar coronal mass ejection
- Solar wind
- Data analysis
- Solar wind plasma
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