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Magnetic connectivity of the ecliptic plane within 0.5 AU : PFSS modeling of the first PSP encounter

Badman, ST; Bale, SD; Oliveros, JCM; Panasenco, O; Velli, M; Stansby, D; Buitrago-Casas, JC; ... Whittlesey, PL; + view all (2020) Magnetic connectivity of the ecliptic plane within 0.5 AU : PFSS modeling of the first PSP encounter. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series , 246 (2) , Article 23. 10.3847/1538-4365/ab4da7. Green open access

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Abstract

We compare magnetic field measurements taken by the FIELDS instrument on Parker Solar Probe (PSP) during its first solar encounter to predictions obtained by Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) modeling. Ballistic propagation is used to connect the spacecraft to the source surface. Despite the simplicity of the model, our results show striking agreement with PSPs first observations of the heliospheric magnetic field from 0.5 AU (107.5 Rs) down to 0.16 AU (35.7 Rs). Further, we show the robustness of the agreement is improved both by allowing the photospheric input to the model to vary in time, and by advecting the field from PSP down to the PFSS model domain using in situ PSP/SWEAP measurements of the solar wind speed instead of assuming it to be constant with longitude and latitude. We also explore the source surface height parameter (RSS) to the PFSS model finding that an extraordinarily low source surface height (1.3-1.5Rs) predicts observed small scale polarity inversions which are otherwise washed out with regular modeling parameters. Finally, we extract field line traces from these models. By overlaying these on EUV images we observe magnetic connectivity to various equatorial and mid-latitude coronal holes indicating plausible magnetic footpoints and offering context for future discussions of sources of the solar wind measured by PSP.

Type: Article
Title: Magnetic connectivity of the ecliptic plane within 0.5 AU : PFSS modeling of the first PSP encounter
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab4da7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/1538-4365/ab4da7
Language: English
Additional information: Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091913
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