Volume 613, May 2018
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||25 May 2018|
Solar wind temperature anisotropy constraints from streaming instabilities
Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam,
2 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum- & Astrophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
3 Centre for Mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
4 Research Department of Complex Plasmas, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
Accepted: 16 February 2018
Due to the relatively low rate of particle-particle collisions in the solar wind, kinetic instabilities (e.g., the mirror and firehose) play an important role in regulating large deviations from temperature isotropy. These instabilities operate in the high β∥ > 1 plasmas, and cannot explain the other limits of the temperature anisotropy reported by observations in the low beta β∥ < 1 regimes. However, the instability conditions are drastically modified in the presence of streaming (or counterstreaming) components, which are ubiquitous in space plasmas. These effects have been analyzed for the solar wind conditions in a large interval of heliospheric distances, 0.3–2.5 AU. It was found that proton counter-streams are much more crucial for plasma stability than electron ones. Moreover, new instability thresholds can potentially explain all observed bounds on the temperature anisotropy, and also the level of differential streaming in the solar wind.
Key words: solar wind / instabilities / waves / turbulence
© ESO 2018
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