Properties of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the solar wind as observed by Ulysses at high heliographic latitudes





Citation of Original Publication

Goldstein, B. E., E. J. Smith, A. Balogh, T. S. Horbury, M. L. Goldstein, and D. A. Roberts. “Properties of Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence in the Solar Wind as Observed by Ulysses at High Heliographic Latitudes.” Geophysical Research Letters 22, no. 23 (1995): 3393–96.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
Public Domain Mark 1.0



The Ulysses mission provides an opportunity to study the evolution of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in pure high-speed solar wind streams. The absence at high heliocentric latitudes of the strong shears in solar wind velocity generally present near the heliocentric current sheet allows investigation of how fluctuations in the magnetic field and plasma relax and evolve in the radially expanding solar wind. We report results of an analysis of the radial and latitudinal variation of the turbulence properties of the fluctuations, especially various plasma-field correlations, in high latitude regions. The results constrain current theories of the evolution of MHD turbulence in the solar wind. Compared to similar observations at 0.3 AU by Helios, we find spectra that are similar in having a large frequency band with an f¹ power spectrum in the outward traveling component of the waves, followed at higher frequencies by a steeper spectrum. Ulysses observations establish that at high latitudes the turbulence is less evolved (i.e., has a smaller inertial range) than it is in the ecliptic at the same heliocentric distance, apparently due to the absence of strong velocity shear. Once Ulysses is in the polar coronal hole, properties of the turbulence appear to be determined by the heliocentric distance of the spacecraft rather than by its helio-latitude.