Semi-empirical MHD model of the solar wind and its comparison with ulysses

M. Guhathakurta, E. C. Sittler, D. Mccomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We have developed a 2D semi-empirical model (Sittler and Guhathakurta 1999) of the corona and the interplanetary medium using the time independent MHD equations and assuming azimuthal symmetry, utilizing the SOHO, Spartan and Ulysses observations. The model uses as inputs (1) an empirically derived global electron density distribution using LASCO, Mark III and Spartan white light observations and in situ observations of the Ulysses spacecraft, and (2) an empirical model of the coronal magnetic field topology using SOHO/LASCO and EIT observations. The model requires an estimate of solar wind velocity as a function of latitude at 1 AU and the radial component of the magnetic field at 1 AU, for which we use Ulysses plasma and magnetic field data results respectively. The model makes estimates as a function of radial distance and latitude of various fluid parameters of the plasma such as flow velocity V, temperature Teff, and heat flux Qeff which are derived from the equations of conservation of mass, momentum and energy, respectively, in the rotating frame of the Sun. The term "effective" indicates possible wave contributions. The model can be used as a planning tool for such missions as Solar Probe and provide an empirical framework for theoretical models of the solar corona and solar wind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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