Reconstructing Solar Wind Inhomogeneous Structures From Stereoscopic Observations in White Light: Small Transients Along the Sun-Earth Line


The Heliospheric Imagers (HI) onboard the two spacecraft of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) provided white-light images of transients in the solar wind from dual perspectives from 2007 to 2014. In this paper, we develop a new method to identify and locate the transients automatically from simultaneous images from the two inner telescopes, known as HI-1, based on a correlation analysis. Correlation coefficient (cc) maps along the Sun-Earth line are constructed for the period from 1 January 2010 to 28 February 2011. From the maps, transients propagating along the Sun-Earth line are identified, and a 27-day periodic pattern is revealed, especially for small-scale transients. Such a periodicity in the transient pattern is consistent with the rotation of the Sun's global magnetic structure and the periodic crossing of the streamer structures and slow solar wind across the Sun-Earth line, and this substantiates the reliability of our method and the high degree of association between the small-scale transients of the slow solar wind and the coronal streamers. Besides, it is suggested by the cc map that small-scale transients along the Sun-Earth line are more frequent than large-scale transients by a factor of at least 2, and that they quickly diffused into background solar wind within about 40 Rs in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio of white-light emissions. The method provides a new tool to reconstruct inhomogeneous structures in the heliosphere from multiple perspectives.

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JGR: Space Physics



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