The solar wind power from magnetic flux

N. A. Schwadron, D. J. Mccomas

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39 Scopus citations


Observations of the fast, high-latitude solar wind throughout Ulysses' three orbits show that solar wind power correlates remarkably well with the Sun's total open magnetic flux. These observations support a recent model of the solar wind energy and particle sources, where magnetic flux emergence naturally leads to an energy flux proportional to the strength of the large-scale magnetic field. This model has also been shown to be consistent with X-ray observations of the Sun and a variety of other stars over 12 decades of magnetic flux. The observations reported here show that the Sun delivers-600 kW Wb -1 to power the solar wind, and that this power to magnetic flux relation has been extremely stable over the last 15 years. Thus, the same law that governs energy released in the corona and from other stars also applies to the total energy in the solar wind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L33-L36
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Solar wind


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