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Directly Comparing Coronal and Solar Wind Elemental Fractionation

Published onAug 18, 2020
Directly Comparing Coronal and Solar Wind Elemental Fractionation

The elemental fractionation of the quasi-collisionless solar wind should not change during transit, making it an ideal tracer of coronal heating and acceleration processes. We aimed to verify directly if the solar wind elemental fractionation is reflective of the coronal source region fractionation, both within and across different solar wind source regions. A backmapping scheme was used to predict where solar wind measured by the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) across 15 days originated in the corona. The coronal composition measured by Hinode Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) at the source regions was then compared with the in-situ solar wind composition. On hourly timescales there was no apparent correlation between coronal and solar wind composition. In contrast, the distribution of fractionation values within individual source regions was similar in both the corona and solar wind, but distributions between different sources had significant overlap. The overlap of fractionation values between sources means it is not possible to identify solar wind source regions solely by comparing solar wind and coronal composition measurements, but a comparison can be used to verify consistency with predicted spacecraft-corona connections.


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