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

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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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Bochsler, P., Lee, M. A., Karrer, R., Jian, L. K., Ellis, L., Farrugia, C. J., … Opitz, A. (2010). Diagnostics of corotating interaction regions with the kinetic properties of iron ions as determined with STEREO/PLASTIC. Annales Geophysicae, 28(2), 491–497. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-491-2010

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