EGU21-5152, updated on 10 Jan 2023
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The formation and evolution of the electron strahl in the inner heliosphere

Seong-Yeop Jeong1, Daniel Verscharen1, Vocks Christian3, Christopher Owen1, Robert Wicks2, and Andrew Fazakerley1
Seong-Yeop Jeong et al.
  • 1Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Dorking, UK
  • 2Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK
  • 3Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Potsdam, Germany

The electrons in the solar wind exhibit an interesting kinetic substructure with many important implications for the overall energetics of the plasma in the heliosphere. We are especially interested in the formation and evolution of the electron strahl, a field-aligned beam of superthermal electrons, in the heliosphere. We develop a kinetic transport equation for typical heliospheric conditions based on a Parker-spiral geometry of the magnetic field. We present the results of our theoretical model for the radial evolution of the electron velocity distribution function (VDF) in the solar wind. We study the effects of the adiabatic focusing of energetic electrons, wave-particle interactions, and Coulomb collisions through a generalized kinetic equation for the electron VDF. We compare and contrast our results with the observed effects in the electron VDFs from space missions that explore the radial evolution of electrons in the inner heliosphere such as Helios, Parker Solar Probe, and Solar Orbiter.

How to cite: Jeong, S.-Y., Verscharen, D., Christian, V., Owen, C., Wicks, R., and Fazakerley, A.: The formation and evolution of the electron strahl in the inner heliosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5152,, 2021.


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