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Understanding coronal heating and solar wind acceleration: Case for in situ near-Sun measurements

McComas, D. J. and Velli, M. and Lewis, W. S. and Acton, L. W. and Balat-Pichelin, M. and Bothmer, V. and Dirling, R. B., Jr. and Feldman, W. C. and Gloeckler, G. and Habbal, S. R. and Hassler, D. M. and Mann, I. and Matthaeus, W. H. and McNutt, R. L., Jr. and Mewaldt, R. A. and Murphy, N. and Ofman, L. and Sittler, E. C. and Smith, C. W. and Zurbuchen, T. H. (2007) Understanding coronal heating and solar wind acceleration: Case for in situ near-Sun measurements. Reviews of Geophysics, 45 (1). Art. No. RG1004. ISSN 8755-1209. doi:10.1029/2006RG000195.

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The solar wind has been measured directly from 0.3 AU outward, and the Sun's atmosphere has been imaged from the photosphere out through the corona. These observations have significantly advanced our understanding of the influence of the Sun's varying magnetic field on the structure and dynamics of the corona and the solar wind. However, how the corona is heated and accelerated to produce the solar wind remains a mystery. Answering these fundamental questions requires in situ observations near the Sun, from a few solar radii (R_S) out to ∼20 R_S, where the internal, magnetic, and turbulent energy in the coronal plasma is channeled into the bulk energy of the supersonic solar wind. A mission to make such observations has long been a top priority of the solar and space physics community. The recent Solar Probe study has proven that such a mission is technically feasible and can be accomplished within reasonable resources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
McComas, D. J.0000-0001-6160-1158
Lewis, W. S.0000-0003-2275-5976
Matthaeus, W. H.0000-0001-7224-6024
McNutt, R. L., Jr.0000-0002-4722-9166
Mewaldt, R. A.0000-0003-2178-9111
Additional Information:© 2007 American Geophysical Union. Received 5 January 2006; revised 18 August 2006; accepted 24 October 2006; published 17 March 2007. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the many individuals who provided programmatic and engineering support for the Solar Probe mission definition study. Special thanks are due to Ken Potocki, Doug Eng, and the APL engineering team; to Haydee Maldonado, the Solar Probe study lead, and to Chris St. Cyr, LWS Senior Scientist, both at the Goddard Space Flight Center; and to Lika Guhathakurta, the LWS Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters. Thanks also to Cesar Carrasco (University of Texas at El Paso), Justin Edmonson (University of Michigan), Stuart Bale (University of California), Bill Kurth (University of Iowa), Scott Weidner (SwRI), and Celeste Satter (JPL) for their help with a variety of technical issues. Thanks also to Rob Ebert (SwRI) for help in preparing the glossary. The Editor responsible for this paper was Peter Riley. He thanks Nathan Schwadron and an anonymous technical reviewer and one anonymous cross-disciplinary reviewer.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory
Subject Keywords:solar probe; coronal heating; solar wind; inner heliosphere
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2007-05
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150324-143333230
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Official Citation:McComas, D. J., et al. (2007), Understanding coronal heating and solar wind acceleration: Case for in situ near-Sun measurements, Rev. Geophys., 45, RG1004, doi:10.1029/2006RG000195.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56036
Deposited By: Deborah Miles
Deposited On:24 Mar 2015 22:11
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:53

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