Monday, July 22, 2013

1307.5120 (Li Feng et al.)

Kelvin-Helmholtz instability of a coronal streamer    [PDF]

Li Feng, Bernd Inhester, Weiqun Gan
The shear-flow-driven instability can play an important role in energy transfer processes in coronal plasma. We present for the first time the observation of a kink-like oscillation of a streamer probably caused by the streaming kinkmode Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. The wave-like behavior of the streamer was observed by Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO) C2 and C3 aboard SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The observed wave had a period of about 70 to 80 minutes, and its wavelength increased from 2 Rsun to 3 Rsun in about 1.5 hours. The phase speeds of its crests and troughs decreased from 406 \pm 20 to 356 \pm 31kms^{-1} during the event. Within the same heliocentric range, the wave amplitude also appeared to increase with time. We attribute the phenomena to the MHD Kelvin-Helmholtz instability which occur at a neutral sheet in a fluid wake. The free energy driving the instability is supplied by the sheared flow and sheared magnetic field across the streamer plane. The plasma properties of the local environment of the streamer were estimated from the phase speed and instability threshold criteria.
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