The NASA Parker Solar Probe mission at the edge of the solar streamer belt
The physics of astrophysical coronal heating and the origin of the slow solar wind remain compelling problems in heliospheric physics, and plasma astrophysics more generally. The NASA Parker Solar Probe mission was launched in late 2018 and has, to date, made six perihelion passes with the latest at 20.4 solar radii. The PSP instruments have measured a rich variety of plasma physics phenomena, including Alfvenic fluctuations and turbulence, interplanetary dust, ion- and electron-scale plasma instabilities and solar radio emissions. I will review some of the key initial results, including the phenomena of Alfvenic 'switchbacks' or jets, and describe more recent measurements as PSP encounters the dense structures associated with the streamer belt.
University of California, Berkeley