Meteoric ions in the corona and solar wind
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The total mass of refractory material of interplanetary origin penetrating and evaporated in the "meltosphere" surrounding the Sun has been inferred from observations of meteoroids and fireballs falling in Earth's atmosphere. The amount of iron atoms deposited this way in the solar corona is of the order of 30001 s-1 or larger. The measured flux of outflowing solar wind iron ions is equal to 2200 t s-1. The close agreement of both fluxes is evidence that a significant fraction of iron ions observed in the solar wind and in the corona must be of meteoric origin. A similar accord is also obtained for silicon ions. The mean velocity of meteoroid ions formed in the solar corona is equal to the free-fall velocity: i.e., independent of their atomic mass as the thermal speed of heavy ion measured in low-density solar wind streams at 1 AU. Furthermore, the heavy ions of meteoric origin escape out of the corona with a larger bulk velocity than the protons which are mainly of solar origin. These differences of heavy ion and proton bulk velocities are also observed in the solar wind.
CitationLemaire, J. (1990). Meteoric ions in the corona and solar wind. , Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 360, Issue 1, 288-295,