ELECTRIC CURRENTS AT IMF SECTOR BOUNDARIES


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Abstract

Numerical simulation of magnetic field reconnection at IMF sector boundaries shows that the reconnection line may be carried by the solar wind out of the region of the anomalous resistivity. This makes it possible to observe magnetic loops at the Earth's orbit open to the Sun as well as from it. Besides, it is shown that the current sheet in the vicinity of the reconnection line has to split into two currents.Experimental data on the structure of the sector boundaries are analyzed, and it is shown that the currents at sector boundaries are indeed often splitted.The thickness of the splitted boundaries may amount to 18 × 106 km; taking into account this value, the heliocentric distance of the region of anomalous resistivity in the interplanetary current sheet is estimated as 0.4–0.5 AU.The probability of observing magnetic loops open towards the Sun seems to be greater than that of loops open from the Sun, which suggests an essential asymmetry of the field reversal regions.

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