Articles | Volume 20, issue 9
Special issue:
30 Sep 2002
 | 30 Sep 2002

The solar wind at solar maximum: comparisons of EISCAT IPS and in situ observations

A. R. Breen, P. Riley, A. J. Lazarus, A. Canals, R. A. Fallows, J. Linker, and Z. Mikic

Abstract. The solar maximum solar wind is highly structured in latitude, longitude and in time. Coronal measurements show a very high degree of variability, with large variations that are less apparent within in situ spacecraft measurements. Interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations from EISCAT, covering distances from 20 to 100 solar radii (RS), are an ideal source of information on the inner solar wind and can be used, therefore, to cast light on its evolution with distance from the Sun. Earlier comparisons of in situ and IPS measurements under solar minimum conditions showed good large-scale agreement, particularly in the fast wind. In this study we attempt a quantitative comparison of measurements made over solar maximum by EISCAT (20–100 RS) and the Wind and Ulysses spacecraft (at 215 RS and 300–1000 RS, respectively). The intervals studied were August–September 1999, May 2000, September 2000 and May 2001, the last-named being the period of the second Ulysses fast latitude scan. Both ballistic and – when possible – MHD/ballistic hybrid models were used to relate the data sets, and we compare the results obtained from these two mapping methods. The results of this study suggest that solar wind velocities measured in situ were less variable than those estimated from IPS measurements closer to the Sun, with the greatest divergence between IPS velocities and in situ measurements occurring in regions where steep longitudinal velocity gradients were seen in situ. We suggest that the interaction between streams of solar wind with different velocities leads to "smoothing" of solar wind velocities between 30–60 RS and 1 AU, and that this process continues at greater distances from the Sun.

Key words. Interplanetary physics (solar wind plasma; sources of the solar wind; instruments and techniques)

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