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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[4.01] An Overview of Alfven Wave Generation, Reflection, and Damping from the Solar Photosphere to the Distant Heliosphere

S. R. Cranmer, A. A. van Ballegooijen (CfA)

The continually evolving convection below the solar photosphere gives rise to a wide spectrum of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) fluctuations in the magnetic atmosphere and solar wind. The propagation of waves through the solar atmosphere has been studied for more than a half century, and the mainly incompressible Alfven mode has been believed to be dominant in regions that are open to the heliosphere. As a part of an ongoing study of various aspects of solar MHD waves and turbulence, we present a comprehensive model of the radially evolving properties of Alfvenic fluctuations in a representative open magnetic region. This work differs from previous models in the following ways. (1) The background plasma density, magnetic field, and flow velocity are constrained empirically from below the photosphere to distances past 1 AU. The successive merging of flux tubes on granular and supergranular scales is described using a two-dimensional magnetostatic model of a magnetic network element. (2) The frequency power spectrum of horizontal motions is specified only at the photosphere, based on prior analyses of G-band bright points. Everywhere else in the model the amplitudes of outward and inward propagating waves are computed with no free parameters. We compare the resulting wave properties with observed nonthermal motions in the chromosphere and corona, radio scintillation measurements, and in-situ fluctuation spectra.

This work is supported by NASA under grants NAG5-11913, NAG5-12865, and NAG5-10996 to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, and by the Swiss contribution to the ESA PRODEX program.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: scranmer@cfa.harvard.edu

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