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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2021

Solar Wind Anomalies at 1 au and Their Associations with Large-scale Structures

Yan Li
Shaosui Xu
  • Function : Author
Janet G. Luhmann
  • Function : Author


We study solar wind anomalies and their associations with solar wind structures using the STEREO solar wind and suprathermal electron (STE) data from IMPACT and PLASTIC. We define solar wind anomalies as temporary and local excursions from the average solar wind state, regardless of their origins, for six anomalies: sunward strahls, counterstreaming suprathermal electrons, suprathermal electron depletions, nearly radial magnetic field episodes, anomalously low proton temperatures, and anomalously low proton beta. We first establish the solar wind synoptic contour displays, which show the expected variations in solar wind structure during the solar cycle: recurrent corotating heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) and stream structures are dominant during solar quiet times around the solar minimum (2008 December) preceding cycle 24, while complex structures characterize solar active times around the solar maximum (2014 April). During the declining phase of the cycle (2016-2019), the stream structures remain complex, but the HMF sectors show the structures of the solar minimum. We then systematically study the six anomalies by analyzing the STE data using automated procedures. All anomalies present some degree of dependence on the large-scale solar wind structure, especially around the solar minimum, implying that the solar wind structure plays a role in either the generation or transportation of these anomalies. One common feature of all of the anomalies is that the distributions of the durations of the anomalous episodes all peak at the 1 hr data resolution, but monotonically decrease over longer durations, which may arguably imply that solar anomalies occur on a continuum of temporal and spatial scales.


Dates and versions

insu-03672340 , version 1 (19-05-2022)



Yan Li, Shaosui Xu, Janet G. Luhmann, Benoit Lavraud. Solar Wind Anomalies at 1 au and Their Associations with Large-scale Structures. The Astrophysical Journal, 2021, 923, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac2a49⟩. ⟨insu-03672340⟩
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