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Small-scale Magnetic Flux Ropes and Their Properties Based on In Situ Measurements from the Parker Solar Probe

AuthorChen, Yu; Hu, Qiang;
KeywordsParker Data Used; 1858; 830; 1504; 1503; 1534; Physics - Space Physics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Physics - Plasma Physics
AbstractWe report small-scale magnetic flux ropes via the in situ measurements from the Parker Solar Probe during the first six encounters, and present additional analyses to supplement our prior work in Chen et al. These flux ropes are detected by the Grad-Shafranov-based algorithm, with their durations and scale sizes ranging from 10 s to \ensuremath\lesssim1 hr and from a few hundred kilometers to 10$^-3$ au, respectively. They include both static structures and those with significant field-aligned plasma flows. Most structures tend to possess large cross helicity, while the residual energy is distributed over wide ranges. We find that these dynamic flux ropes mostly propagate in the antisunward direction relative to the background solar wind, with no preferential signs of magnetic helicity. The magnetic flux function follows a power law and is proportional to scale size. We also present case studies showing reconstructed two-dimensional (2D) configurations, which confirm that both the static and dynamic flux ropes have a common configuration of spiral magnetic field lines (also streamlines). Moreover, the existence of such events hints at interchange reconnection as a possible mechanism for generating flux rope- like structures near the Sun. Lastly, we summarize the major findings, and discuss the possible correlation between these flux rope-like structures and turbulence due to the process of local Alfv\ enic alignment.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages43
Date Publishedjan