Characteristics of solar wind density depletions during solar cycles 23 and 24
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Solar wind density depletions are generally believed to be caused by the interplanetary (IP) shocks. However, there are other cases that are hardly associated with IP shocks. To better understand the cause of the density depletions, we investigate the solar wind parameters and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data related to the solar wind density depletion events during the period from 1996 to 2013 that are obtained with the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and the WIND satellite. As a result, we found that the solar wind density has an anti-correlation with IMF strength during all events of solar wind density depletion, regardless of the presence of IP shocks. We thus argue that IMF strength is an important factor in understanding the nature of solar wind density depletion. Since IMF strength varies with solar cycle, we also investigate the characteristics of solar wind density depletion events in different phases of solar cycle as an attempt to find its connection to the sun.