Solar wind speed and temperature relationship

Heather A. Elliott, David J. McComas, William H. Matthaeus, Carl J. Henney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Previous studies of solar wind proton temperature and speed have found a break in the curve between 400 and 550km/s. Examining all the OMNI 2 data from 1965 to 2009, we create plots binned in both temperature and speed in order to identify where the majority of the points lie. Using yearly color plots to evaluate the curve shape we find most of the data is well represented by a single linear fit even though the slope varies significantly from year to year. A clear break in the temperature speed curve occurs in 2003 coincident with a large polar coronal hole extension which produced faster wind speeds than expected at low latitudes based on the Ulysses speed-latitude polar coronal hole relationship. Although the slope does not change in a systematic way for each individual solar cycle, there seems to be an overall decrease in the slope since 1972.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTwelfth International Solar Wind Conference
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Solar Wind Conference - Saint-Malo, France
Duration: Jun 21 2009Jun 26 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference12th International Solar Wind Conference

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Coronal holes
  • Solar cycle
  • Solar wind


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