Reliable models of the solar wind in the near-Earth space environment may constrain conditions close to the Sun. This is relevant to NASA's contemporary innerheliospheric mission Parker Solar Probe. Among the outstanding issues is how to explain the solar wind temperature isotropy. Perpendicular and parallel proton and electron temperatures near 1 AU are theoretically predicted to be unequal, but in situ observations show quasi-isotropy sufficiently below the instability threshold condition. This has not been satisfactorily explained. The present Letter shows that the dynamical coupling of electrons and protons via collisional processes and instabilities may contribute toward the resolution of this problem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)