During relatively quiet solar conditions throughout the spring and summer of 2007, the SECCHI HI2 white-light telescope on the STEREO B solar-orbiting spacecraft observed a succession of wave fronts sweeping past Earth. We have compared these heliospheric images with in situ plasma and magnetic field measurements obtained by near-Earth spacecraft, and we have found a near perfect association between the occurrence of these waves and the arrival of density enhancements at the leading edges of high-speed solar wind streams. Virtually all of the strong corotating interaction regions are accompanied by large-scale waves, and the low-density regions between them lack such waves. Because the Sun was dominated by long-lived coronal holes and recurrent solar wind streams during this interval, there is little doubt that we have been observing the compression regions that are formed at low latitude as solar rotation causes the high-speed wind from coronal holes to run into lower speed wind ahead of it.
- Sun : corona
- Sun : magnetic fields
- Sun : coronal mass ejections (CMEs)