The Quasi-Stationary and Transient States of the Solar Wind

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Science  19 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5004, pp. 404-409
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5004.404


There are two states of the solar wind: quasi-stationary and transient. After 30 years of measurements by interplanetary spacecraft, the differences in the physical properties of the two types of wind are fairly well determined, but the physical processes involved in their accelerations are not yet understood in detail. The solar wind exists in part because the upper solar atmosphere, called the corona, is very hot, but the heating mechanisms are also not well understood. Recent research suggests a link between the heating and acceleration mechanisms.

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