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The Contribution of Coronal Jets To The Solar Wind  

Roberto Lionello   Submitted: 2016-10-11 18:23

Transient collimated plasma eruptions in the solar corona, commonly known as coronal (or X-ray) jets, are among the most interesting manifestations of solar activity. It has been suggested that these events contribute to the mass and energy content of the corona and solar wind, but the extent of these contributions remains uncertain. We have recently modeled the formation and evolution of coronal jets using a three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code with thermodynamics in a large spherical domain that includes the solar wind. Our model is coupled to 3D MHD flux-emergence simulations, i.e, we use boundary conditions provided by such simulations to drive a time-dependent coronal evolution. The model includes parametric coronal heating, radiative losses, and thermal conduction, which enables us to simulate the dynamics and plasma properties of coronal jets in a more realistic manner than done so far. Here we employ these simulations to calculate the amount of mass and energy transported by coronal jets into the outer corona and inner heliosphere. Based on observed jet-occurrence rates, we then estimate the total contribution of coronal jets to the mass and energy content of the solar wind to (0.4-3.0) % and (0.3-1.0) %, respectively. Our results are largely consistent with the few previous rough estimates obtained from observations, supporting the conjecture that coronal jets provide only a small amount of mass and energy to the solar wind. We emphasize, however, that more advanced observations and simulations are needed to substantiate this conjecture.

Authors: R. Lionello, T. Török, V. S. Titov, J. E. Leake, Z. Mikić, J. A. Linker, M. G. Linton
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJL (in press)
Last Modified: 2016-10-12 12:26
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