A statistical analysis of magnetic flux ropes, identified by large-amplitude, smooth rotations of the magnetic field vector and a low level of both proton density and temperature, has been performed by computing the invariants of the ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, namely the magnetic helicity, the cross-helicity, and the total energy, via magnetic field and plasma fluctuations in the interplanetary medium. A technique based on the wavelet spectrograms of the MHD invariants allows the localization and characterization of those structures in both scales and time: it has been observed that flux ropes show, as expected, high magnetic helicity states (|σm| ∈ [0.6 : 1]), but extremely variable cross-helicity states (|σc| ∈ [0 : 0.8]), which, however, are not independent of the magnetic helicity content of the flux rope itself. The two normalized MHD invariants observed within the flux ropes tend indeed to distribute, neither trivially nor automatically, along the σ2m + σ2 c = 1 curve, thus suggesting that some constraint should exist between the magnetic and cross-helicity content of the structures. The analysis carried out has further showed that the flux rope properties are totally independent of their time duration and that they are detected either as a sort of interface between different portions of solar wind or as isolated structures embedded in the same stream.
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|Titolo:||An analysis of magnetohydrodynamic invariants of magnetic fluctuations within interplanetary flux ropes|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|