Academic Article


  • The Solar Probe Plus (SPP) spacecraft will explore the near-Sun environment, reaching heliocentric distances less than $10 R_{\odot}$. Near Earth, spacecraft measurements of fluctuating velocities and magnetic fields taken in the time domain are translated into information about the spatial structure of the solar wind via Taylor's "frozen turbulence" hypothesis. Near the perihelion of SPP, however, the solar-wind speed is comparable to the Alfv\'en speed, and Taylor's hypothesis in its usual form does not apply. In this paper, we show that, under certain assumptions, a modified version of Taylor's hypothesis can be recovered in the near-Sun region. We consider only the transverse, non-compressive component of the fluctuations at length scales exceeding the proton gyroradius, and we describe these fluctuations using an approximate theoretical framework developed by Heinemann and Olbert. We show that fluctuations propagating away from the Sun in the plasma frame obey a relation analogous to Taylor's hypothesis when $V_{\rm sc,\perp} \gg z^-$ and $z^+ \gg z^-$, where $V_{\rm sc,\perp}$ is the component of the spacecraft velocity perpendicular to the mean magnetic field and $\bm{z}^+$ ($\bm{z}^-$) is the Elsasser variable corresponding to transverse, non-compressive fluctuations propagating away from (towards) the Sun in the plasma frame. Observations and simulations suggest that, in the near-Sun solar wind, the above inequalities are satisfied and $\bm{z}^+$ fluctuations account for most of the fluctuation energy. The modified form of Taylor's hypothesis that we derive may thus make it possible to characterize the spatial structure of the energetically dominant component of the turbulence encountered by SPP.
  • Authors

  • Klein, Kristopher G
  • Perez, Jean C
  • Verscharen, Daniel
  • Mallet, Alfred
  • Chandran, Benjamin
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 1, 2015
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Sun: corona
  • plasmas
  • solar wind
  • turbulence
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • L18
  • End Page

  • L18
  • Volume

  • 801
  • Issue

  • 1