"On the theory of comet tails,"
Tellus 9, 92 (1957).
Click on the image above for a larger .gif version.
It is hard to be the very first person with a particular good idea, and here is an obvious case in point. The cartoon of Hannes Alfvén presented here antedates the paper introducing what is now called the "Parker Spiral." Alfvén's paper clearly was chronologically earlier (submitted June 22, 1956), and introduced the idea of the magnetized solar wind with its characteristic Archimedean spiral. From this perspective of science history, it seems to the Archivist that the phenomenon could also have been called the "Alfvén Spiral" if indeed anybody's name needs to be attached to it. Indeed, this was a revolutionary concept in 1956 or 1958, and both Alfvén and Parker need to be congratulated for an innovation here.
This is not a cartoon about flares; it shows a solar-wind stream (Alfvén called it a "beam") and a comet, actually. But the solar wind and its physics have a great deal to do with CME development, so there is a tenuous (haha) connection to flare physics here.
August 25, 2011
February 16, 2013
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