EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fully kinetic simulations of the near-Sun solar wind plasma: turbulence, reconnection, and particle heating

Luca Franci1, Emanuele Papini2, Alfredo Micera3, Lorenzo Matteini4, Julia Stawarz4, Giovanni Lapenta5, David Burgess1, Petr Hellinger6, Simone Landi7, Andrea Verdini7, and Victor Montagud-Camps6
Luca Franci et al.
  • 1School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
  • 2Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, Rome, Italy
  • 3Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence–SIDC, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
  • 4Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 5Centre for Mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • 6Astronomical Institute, CAS, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 7Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy

We model the development of plasma turbulence in the near-Sun solar wind with high-resolution fully-kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, initialised with plasma conditions measured by Parker Solar Probe during its first solar encounter (ion and electron plasma beta ≤ 1 and a large amplitude of the turbulent fluctuations). The power spectra of the plasma and electromagnetic fluctuations are characterized by multiple power-law intervals, with a transition and a considerable steepening in correspondence of the electron scales. In the same range of scales, the kurtosis of the magnetic fluctuations is observed to further increase, hinting at a higher level of intermittency. We observe a number of electron-only reconnection events, which are responsible for an increase of the electron temperature in the direction parallel to the ambient field. The total electron temperature, however, exhibits only a small increase due to the cooling of electrons in the perpendicular direction, leading to a strong temperature anisotropy. We also analyse the power spectra of the different terms of the electric field in the generalised Ohm’s law, their linear and nonlinear components, and their alignment, to get a deeper insight on the nature of the turbulent cascade. Finally, we compare our results with those from hybrid simulations with the same parameters, as well as with spacecraft observations.

How to cite: Franci, L., Papini, E., Micera, A., Matteini, L., Stawarz, J., Lapenta, G., Burgess, D., Hellinger, P., Landi, S., Verdini, A., and Montagud-Camps, V.: Fully kinetic simulations of the near-Sun solar wind plasma: turbulence, reconnection, and particle heating, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8705,, 2022.