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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 28, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 28, 491–497, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Three eyes on the Sun – multi-spacecraft studies of...

Ann. Geophys., 28, 491–497, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Feb 2010

09 Feb 2010

Diagnostics of corotating interaction regions with the kinetic properties of iron ions as determined with STEREO/PLASTIC

P. Bochsler1,*, M. A. Lee1, R. Karrer2, L. K. Jian3, L. Ellis1, C. J. Farrugia1, A. B. Galvin1, L. M. Kistler1, H. Kucharek1, E. Möbius1, M. A. Popecki1, K. D. C. Simunac1, L. M. Blush2, H. Daoudi2, P. Wurz2, B. Klecker4, R. F. Wimmer-Schweingruber5, B. Thompson6, J. G. Luhmann7, C. T. Russell3, and A. Opitz8 P. Bochsler et al.
  • 1Space Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
  • 2Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
  • 4Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 85741 Garching, Germany
  • 5Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Leibnizstr. 11, 24098 Kiel, Germany
  • 6National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
  • 7Space Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 8Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements (CNRS-UPS), 31028 Toulouse, France
  • *permanent address: Bahnhofstrasse 54, 3127 Mühlethurnen, Switzerland

Abstract. STEREO/PLASTIC determines three-dimensional distributions of solar wind iron ions with unprecedented time resolution. Typically 300 to 1000 counts are registered within each 5 min time interval. For the present study we use the information contained in these distributions to characterize CIRs (Corotating Interaction Regions) in two test cases. We perform a consistency test for both the derived physical parameters and for the analytical model of CIRs of Lee (2000). At 1 AU we find that apart from compositional changes the most indicative parameter for marking the time when a CIR passes a spacecraft is the angular deflection of the flow vector of particles. Changes in particle densities and the changes in magnitudes of speeds are apparently less reliable indicators of stream interfaces.

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