AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 4 Plasma Astrophysics of Coronae
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[4.03] Observational Estimates of Wave Heating and Momentum Addition in the Outer Corona

S. R. Spangler, P. S. Kortenkamp (Univ. Iowa)

Theoretical models of the outer solar corona and inner solar wind require heating and acceleration by turbulence to achieve the observed flow speed and plasma temperature at 1 astronomical unit. Observational tests of these models require knowledge of the turbulent magnetic field amplitude as a function of heliocentric distance (r), but direct measurements are not available. In this paper, we present a new method of estimating the spatial power spectrum and fluctuation amplitude of magnetic field fluctuations in the solar wind acceleration region. We utilize a set of 38 measurements of density fluctuations in the slow solar wind, for heliocentric distances in the range 5 - 60 R\odot. These data result from VLBI phase scintillation measurements made between 1991 and 2002. These observations give the density fluctuation parameter CN2(r). We also utilize a recent result on the relative magnitude of density and magnetic field fluctuations in slow solar wind turbulence at 1 a.u. (Spangler and Spitler, Physics of Plasmas, May 2004). We can then estimate the magnetic field fluctuation parameter CB2 and the magnetic field fluctuation amplitude as a function of heliocentric distance. These estimates of turbulence amplitudes are compared with those required by slow solar wind models. For illustration, the estimated turbulent energy flux at a heliocentric distance of 16 R\odot is 6 - 23 % of the kinetic energy flux. The higher portion of this range is consistent with a significant dynamical role for turbulence. Future improvements in this technique will utilize global MHD models of the solar wind at the times of observations. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation via grants ATM99-86887 and ATM-0311825.

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