Solar Wind Turbulence from 1 to 45 au. IV. Turbulent Transport and Heating of the Solar Wind Using Voyager Observations

Academic Article


  • Abstract We adopt the theory for turbulent transport of energy by solar wind fluctuations and apply that theory to observations by the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft to obtain rates of thermal proton heating that are controlled by two sources: the large-scale fluctuations in the solar wind that arise from solar sources and the excitation of waves by newborn interstellar ions. In the process, we compute magnetic spectra for 839 data intervals spanning the range from 1 to 35 au when thermal ion data is available and use those spectra to obtain independent estimates for the energy cascade rates at intermediate scales that we assume equals the rate of thermal proton heating by the turbulence. We compare three analyses that describe different aspects of the solar wind heating problem: the rate of energy cascade through the intermediate scales of the magnetic spectrum, the rate at which energy is supplied to that cascade from the large-scale fluctuations as described by magnetohydrodynamic transport theory, and the rate at which energy is injected into the spectrum via wave excitation by newborn interstellar ions. The first two expressions are found to be in good agreement while the latter source dynamics become important beyond 10 au.
  • Authors

  • Pine, Zackary B
  • Smith, Charles
  • Hollick, Sophia J
  • Argall, Matthew R
  • Vasquez, Bernard J
  • Isenberg, Philip A
  • Schwadron, Nathan
  • Joyce, Colin
  • Sokol, Justyna M
  • Bzowski, Maciej
  • Kubiak, Marzena A
  • McLaurin, Megan L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2020
  • Has Subject Area


  • Heliosphere
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Solar wind
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 94
  • End Page

  • 94
  • Volume

  • 900
  • Issue

  • 2