Solar Physics

, Volume 265, Issue 1–2, pp 207–231 | Cite as

Transient Structures and Stream Interaction Regions in the Solar Wind: Results from EISCAT Interplanetary Scintillation, STEREO HI and Venus Express ASPERA-4 Measurements

  • G. D. DorrianEmail author
  • A. R. Breen
  • J. A. Davies
  • A. P. Rouillard
  • R. A. Fallows
  • I. C. Whittaker
  • D. S. Brown
  • R. A. Harrison
  • C. J. Davis
  • M. Grande
Remote Sensing of the Inner Heliosphere


We discuss the detection and evolution of a complex series of transient and quasi-static solar-wind structures in the days following the well-known comet 2P/Encke tail disconnection event in April 2007. The evolution of transient solar-wind structures ranging in size from <105 km to >106 km was characterised using one-minute time resolution observation of Interplanetary Scintillation (IPS) made using the European Incoherent SCATter (EISCAT) radar system. Simultaneously, the global structure and evolution of these features was characterised by the Heliospheric Imagers (HI) on the Solar TERrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft, placing the IPS observations in context. Of particular interest was the observation of one transient in the slow wind, apparently being swept up and entrained by a Stream Interaction Region (SIR). The SIR itself was later detected in-situ at Venus by the Analyser of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) instrument on the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft. The availability of such diverse data sources over a range of different time resolutions enables us to develop a global picture of these complex events that would not have been possible if these instruments were used in isolation. We suggest that the range of solar-wind transients discussed here may be the interplanetary counterparts of transient structures previously reported from coronagraph observations and are likely to correspond to transient magnetic structures reported in in-situ measurements in interplanetary space. The results reported here also provide the first indication of heliocentric distances at which transients become entrained.


Magnetic fields, interplanetary Radio scintillation Solar wind, disturbances, stream interaction region 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. D. Dorrian
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. R. Breen
    • 2
  • J. A. Davies
    • 3
  • A. P. Rouillard
    • 4
  • R. A. Fallows
    • 2
  • I. C. Whittaker
    • 2
  • D. S. Brown
    • 5
  • R. A. Harrison
    • 3
  • C. J. Davis
    • 3
  • M. Grande
    • 2
  1. 1.Astrophysics Research Centre, Physics BuildingQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.Institute of Mathematics and PhysicsAberystwyth UniversityAberystwythUK
  3. 3.Space Science and Technology Department, Science and Technology Facilities CouncilRutherford Appleton LaboratoryDidcotUK
  4. 4.College of ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  5. 5.Jeremiah Horrocks InstituteUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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