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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 18, 845–851, 2000
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-000-0845-9
© European Geosciences Union 2000
Ann. Geophys., 18, 845–851, 2000
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-000-0845-9
© European Geosciences Union 2000

  31 Aug 2000

31 Aug 2000

A study of phase-steepened Alfvén waves in a high-speed stream at 0.29 AU

P. Alexander P. Alexander
  • Departmento de Físcia, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • e-mail: peter@df.uba.ar

Abstract. This work performs a search of phase-steepened Alfvén waves under a priori ideal conditions: a high-speed solar wind stream observed in one of the closest approaches to the Sun by any spacecraft (Helios 2). Five potential candidates were initially found following procedures established in earlier work. The observed cases exhibited arc-like or elliptical polarizations, and the rotational discontinuities that formed the abrupt wave edges were found at either the leading or the trailing part. The consideration of some additional specific parameters (mainly related to the relative orientation between mean magnetic field, wave and discontinuity) has been suggested here for an ultimate and proper identification of this kind of phenomenon. After the inclusion of these calculations in our analysis, even fewer cases than the five originals remain. It is suggested that optimum conditions for the detection rather than just for the existence of these events have to be reconsidered.

Key words: Interplanetary physics (discontinuities; MHD waves and turbulence; solar wind plasma)

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