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Solar Physics

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 179–201 | Cite as

Solar wind heavy ions from flare-heated coronal plasma

  • S. J. Bame
  • J. R. Asbridge
  • W. C. Feldman
  • E. E. Fenimore
  • J. T. Gosling
Article

Abstract

Information concerning the coronal expansion is carried by solar wind heavy ions. Distinctly different energy-per-charge ion spectra are found in two classes of solar wind having the low kinetic temperatures necessary for E/q resolution of the ion species. Heavy ion spectra which can be resolved are most frequently observed in the low-speed interstream (IS) plasma found between high speed streams; the streams are thought to be coming from coronal holes. Although the sources of the IS plasma are uncertain, the heavy ion spectra found there contain identifiable peaks of O, Si, and Fe ions. Such spectra indicate that the IS ionization state of O is established in coronal gas at T ≈ 2.1 × 106 K while that of Fe is frozen in farther out at ∼1.5 × 106 K. On occasion anomalous spectra are found outside IS flows in solar wind with abnormally depressed local kinetic temperatures. The anomalous spectra contain Fe16+ ions, not usually found in IS flows, and the derived coronal freezing in temperatures are significantly higher; for two of the best cases values of ∼3.4 × 106 K were found for the O ions and ∼2.9 × 106 K for Fe ions. The coronal sources of some of these ionizationally hot flows are identified as solar flares. The appearance of abnormally depressed kinetic temperatures in solar wind coming from flare-heated coronal gas lends support to earlier speculation that flares can expel plasma enclosed in magnetic bottles or bubbles. In transit to 1 AU the gas is sufficiently isolated from the hot corona that it cools anomalously.

The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory requests that the publisher identify this article as work performed under the auspices of the Department of Energy.

Keywords

Flare Solar Wind Coronal Hole Kinetic Temperature High Speed Stream 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Bame
    • 1
  • J. R. Asbridge
    • 1
  • W. C. Feldman
    • 1
  • E. E. Fenimore
    • 1
  • J. T. Gosling
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, Los Alamos Scientific LaboratoryLos AlamosU.S.A.

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