How transverse waves drive turbulence in the solar corona

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Abstract

Oscillatory power is pervasive throughout the solar corona, and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves may carry a significant energy flux throughout the Sun’s atmosphere. As a result, over much of the past century, these waves have attracted great interest in the context of the coronal heating problem. They are a potential source of the energy required to maintain the high-temperature plasma and may accelerate the fast solar wind. Despite many observations of coronal waves, large uncertainties inhibit reliable estimates of their exact energy flux, and as such, it remains unclear whether they can contribute significantly to the coronal energy budget. A related issue concerns whether the wave energy can be dissipated over sufficiently short time scales to balance the atmospheric losses. For typical coronal parameters, energy dissipation rates are very low and, thus, any heating model must efficiently generate very small-length scales. As such, MHD turbulence is a promising plasma phenomenon for dissipating large quantities of energy quickly and over a large volume. In recent years, with advances in computational and observational power, much research has highlighted how MHD waves can drive complex turbulent behaviour in the solar corona. In this review, we present recent results that illuminate the energetics of these oscillatory processes and discuss how transverse waves may cause instability and turbulence in the Sun’s atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number384
Number of pages23
JournalSymmetry
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • MHD oscillations
  • Coronal heating
  • MHD turbulence

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