Magnetic reconnection at the heliospheric current sheet and the formation of closed magnetic field lines in the solar wind

J. T. Gosling, D. J. McComas, R. M. Skoug, C. W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have identified a sunward-directed reconnection exhaust in the solar wind at a crossing of the heliospheric current sheet, HCS, by the ACE spacecraft. The exhaust was embedded within an interval of counterstreaming suprathermal electron Strahls that provides direct evidence that reconnection produced closed (i.e., doubly connected to the Sun) magnetic field lines sunward of the reconnection site. We suggest that local, quasi-stationary reconnection at the HCS may, in general, be an important source of closed magnetic field lines often observed in the vicinity of the HCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL17102
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume33
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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