Magnetic Topology of Actively Evolving and Passively Convecting Structures in the Turbulent Solar Wind
Multipoint in situ observations of the solar wind are used to identify the magnetic topology and current density of turbulent structures. We find that at least 35% of all structures are both actively evolving and carrying the strongest currents, actively dissipating, and heating the plasma. These structures are comprised of ∼1=5 3D plasmoids, ∼3=5 flux ropes, and ∼1=5 3D X points consistent with magnetic reconnection. Actively evolving and passively advecting structures are both close to log-normally distributed. This provides direct evidence for the significant role of strong turbulence, evolving via magnetic shearing and reconnection, in mediating dissipation and solar wind heating.
B. Hnat, S. C. Chapman, and N. W. Watkins. Magnetic Topology of Actively Evolving and Passively Convecting Structures in the Turbulent Solar Wind, Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 125101