Solar Chromospheric Network as a Source for Solar Wind Switchbacks

Jeongwoo Lee, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, Haimin Wang, Xu Yang, Wenda Cao, Juan Carlos Martínez Oliveros

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3 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that the magnetic switchbacks (SBs) detected by the Parker Solar Probe carry information on the scales of solar supergranulation (large scale) and granulation (medium scale). We test this claim using high-resolution Hα images obtained with the visible spectropolarimeters of the Goode Solar Telescope in Big Bear Solar Observatory. As possible solar sources, we count all the spicule-like features standing along the chromospheric networks near the coronal hole boundary visible in the Hα blue-wing but absent in the red-wing images and measure the geometric parameters of dense sections of individual flux tubes. Intervals between adjacent spicules located along the chromospheric networks are found in the range of 0.4-1.5 Mm (0.°03-0.°12) tending to be smaller than the medium scale of SBs. Interdistances between all pairs of the flux tubes are also counted and they appear in a single peak distribution around 0.7 Mm (0.°06) unlike the waiting-time distribution of SBs in a scale-free single power-law form. The length-to-diameter ratio of the dense section of flux tubes is as high as 6-40, similar to the aspect ratio of SBs. The number of spicules along a network can be as high as 40-100, consistent with numerous SBs within a patch. With these numbers, it is argued that the medium scale of SBs can be understood as an equilibrium distance resulting from a random walk within each diverging magnetic field funnel connected to the chromospheric networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL27
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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