A Planar, Pressure-Balanced, Reconnecting Structure Embedded in a Small Solar Wind Transient. AIP Conference Proceedings


We describe a ∼4 hour-long solar wind transient observed by the Wind spacecraft, in which is embedded a pressure-balanced structure. Minimum variance analysis on high resolution (∼11 Hz) magnetic field data shows it to be planar to an excellent approximation (ratio of intermediate-to-minimum eigenvalues = 83). The structure starts with a very sharp discontinuity whose orientation coincides within four degrees with that of the structure itself. We find that this discontinuity has a bifurcated magnetic field and plasma flow structure. There is also a velocity depression coextensive with it. Applying a tangential stress balance test (Walén relation) to the discontinuity, we find good agreement of predictions with observations. We show directly the presence of two Alfvén waves propagating in opposite directions. The observation is consistent with the presence of a reconnection region in a hitherto unexplored configuration within a small solar wind transient.

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AIP Conference Proceedings



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