Predicting the Solar Wind at the Parker Solar Probe Using an Empirically Driven MHD Model

T. K. Kim, N. V. Pogorelov, C. N. Arge, C. J. Henney, S. I. Jones-Mecholsky, W. P. Smith, S. D. Bale, J. W. Bonnell, T. Dudok De Wit, K. Goetz, P. R. Harvey, R. J. MacDowall, D. M. Malaspina, M. Pulupa, J. C. Kasper, K. E. Korreck, M. Stevens, A. W. Case, P. Whittlesey, R. LiviD. E. Larson, K. G. Klein, G. P. Zank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Since its launch on 2018 August 12, Parker Solar Probe (PSP) has completed its first and second orbits around the Sun, having reached down to 35.7 solar radii at each perihelion. In anticipation of the exciting new data at such unprecedented distances, we have simulated the global 3D heliosphere using an MHD model coupled with a semi-empirical coronal model using the best available photospheric magnetograms as input. We compare our heliospheric MHD simulation results with in situ measurements along the PSP trajectory from its launch to the completion of the second orbit, with particular emphasis on the solar wind structure around the first two solar encounters. Furthermore, we show our model prediction for the third perihelion, which occurred on 2019 September 1. Comparison of the MHD results with PSP observations provides new insights into solar wind acceleration. Moreover, PSP observations reveal how accurately the Air Force Data Assimilative Photospheric flux Transport-Wang-Sheeley-Arge-based predictions work throughout the inner heliosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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