Volume 650, June 2021
Parker Solar Probe: Ushering a new frontier in space exploration
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||02 June 2021|
Identification of coherent structures in space plasmas: the magnetic helicity–PVI method
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria,
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy and Bartol Research Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Accepted: 14 November 2020
Context. Plasma turbulence can be viewed as a magnetic landscape populated by large- and small-scale coherent structures. In this complex network, large helical magnetic tubes might be separated by small-scale magnetic reconnection events (current sheets). However, the identification of these magnetic structures in a continuous stream of data has always been a challenging task.
Aims. Here, we present a method that is able to characterize both the large- and small-scale structures of the turbulent solar wind, based on the combined use of a filtered magnetic helicity (Hm) and the partial variance of increments (PVI).
Methods. This simple, single-spacecraft technique was first validated via direct numerical simulations of plasma turbulence and then applied to data from the Parker Solar Probe mission.
Results. This novel analysis, combining Hm and PVI methods, reveals that a large number of flux tubes populate the solar wind and continuously merge in contact regions where magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration may occur.
Key words: magnetic fields / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / plasmas / turbulence / methods: observational / solar wind
© ESO 2021
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.