Parker Solar Probe Enters the Magnetically Dominated Solar Corona

J. C. Kasper, K. G. Klein, E. Lichko, Jia Huang, C. H.K. Chen, S. T. Badman, J. Bonnell, P. L. Whittlesey, R. Livi, D. Larson, M. Pulupa, A. Rahmati, D. Stansby, K. E. Korreck, M. Stevens, A. W. Case, S. D. Bale, M. Maksimovic, M. Moncuquet, K. GoetzJ. S. Halekas, D. Malaspina, Nour E. Raouafi, A. Szabo, R. Macdowall, Marco Velli, Thierry Dudok De Wit, G. P. Zank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The high temperatures and strong magnetic fields of the solar corona form streams of solar wind that expand through the Solar System into interstellar space. At 09:33 UT on 28 April 2021 Parker Solar Probe entered the magnetized atmosphere of the Sun 13 million km above the photosphere, crossing below the Alfvén critical surface for five hours into plasma in casual contact with the Sun with an Alfvén Mach number of 0.79 and magnetic pressure dominating both ion and electron pressure. The spectrum of turbulence below the Alfvén critical surface is reported. Magnetic mapping suggests the region was a steady flow emerging on rapidly expanding coronal magnetic field lines lying above a pseudostreamer. The sub-Alfvénic nature of the flow may be due to suppressed magnetic reconnection at the base of the pseudostreamer, as evidenced by unusually low densities in this region and the magnetic mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA61
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 17 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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