Multi-fluid Simulation of Solar Chromospheric Turbulence and Heating Due to the Thermal Farley-Buneman Instability

Samuel Evans, Meers Oppenheim, Juan Martínez-Sykora, Yakov Dimant, Richard Xiao

Submitted on 7 November 2022, last revised on 13 November 2022


Models fail to reproduce observations of the coldest parts of the Sun's atmosphere, where interactions between multiple ionized and neutral species prevent an accurate MHD representation. This paper argues that a meter-scale electrostatic plasma instability develops in these regions and causes heating. We refer to this instability as the Thermal Farley-Buneman instability, or TFBI. Using parameters from a 2.5D radiative MHD Bifrost simulation, we show that the TFBI develops in many of the colder regions in the chromosphere. This paper also presents the first multi-fluid simulation of the TFBI and validates this new result by demonstrating close agreement with theory during the linear regime. The simulation eventually develops turbulence, and we characterize the resulting wave-driven heating, plasma transport, and random motions. These results all contend that effects of the TFBI contribute to the discrepancies between solar observations and radiative MHD models.


Comment: 16 pages, 9 figures. Update: fix minor typos, minor grammar improvements, add citation for previously in-prep reference

Subject: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics