Exploring Solar Wind Origins and Connecting Plasma Flows from the Parker Solar Probe to 1 au
The magnetic field measurements of the FIELDS instrument on the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) have shown intensities, throughout its first solar encounter, that require a very low source surface (SS) height to be reconciled with magnetic field measurements at the Sun via potential field extrapolation (PFSS). However, during PSP’s second encounter, the situation went back to a more classic SS height. Here we use high-resolution observations of the photospheric magnetic field (Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager) to calculate neutral lines and boundaries of the open field regions for SS heights from 1.2 to 2.5 R⊙ using an evolving PFSS model and the measured solar wind speed to trace the source of the wind observed by PSP to the low corona and photosphere. We adjust R SS to get the best match for the field polarity over the period 2018 October–November and 2019 March–April, finding that the best fit for the observed magnetic field polarity inversions requires a nonspherical SS. The geometry of the coronal hole boundaries for different R SS is tested using the PSP perihelion passes, 3D PFSS models, and LASCO/C2 observations. We investigate the sources of stronger-than-average magnetic fields and times of Alfvénic fast and slow wind. Only some of the strongly Alfvénic slow wind streams seen by PSP survive and are observed at 1 au: the origins and peculiar topology of the background in which they propagate is discussed.