We present an analysis of the radial length-scales of periodic solar wind number density structures. We converted 11 years (1995–2005) of solar wind number density data into radial length series segments and Fourier analyzed them to identify all spectral peaks with radial wavelengths between 72 (116) and 900 (900) Mm for slow (fast) wind intervals. Our window length for the spectral analysis was 9072 Mm, approximately equivalent to 7 (4) h of data for the slow (fast) solar wind. We required that spectral peaks pass both an amplitude test and a harmonic F-test at the 95% confidence level simultaneously. From the occurrence distributions of these spectral peaks for slow and fast wind, we find that periodic number density structures occur more often at certain radial length-scales than at others, and are consistently observed within each speed range over most of the 11-year interval. For the slow wind, those length-scales are L ∼ 73, 120, 136, and 180 Mm. For the fast wind, those length-scales are L ∼ 187, 270 and 400 Mm. The results argue for the existence of inherent radial length-scales in the solar wind number density.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
American Geophysical Union
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Viall, N. M., L. Kepko, and H. E. Spence (2008), Inherent length-scales of periodic solar wind number density structures, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A07101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012881.
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.