Recent accumulation of a critical mass of observational material from different spacecraft complete with the enhanced abilities of numerical methods have led to a boom of studies revealing the high complexity of processes occurring in the heliosphere. Views on the solar wind filling the interplanetary medium have dramatically developed from the beginning of the space era. A 2-D picture of the freely expanding solar corona and non-interacting solar wind structures described as planar or spherically-symmetric objects has dominated for decades. Meanwhile, the scientific community gradually moved to a modern understanding of the importance of the 3-D nature of heliospheric processes and their studies via MHD/kinetic simulations, as well as observations of large-scale flows and streams both in situ and remotely, in white light and/or via interplanetary scintillations. The new 3-D approach has provided an opportunity to understand the dynamics of heliospheric structures and processes that could not even be imagined before within the 2-D paradigm. In this review, we highlight a piece of the puzzle, showing the evolution of views on processes related to current sheets, plasmoids, blobs and flux ropes of various scales and origins in the heliosphere. The first part of the review focuses on introducing these plasma structures, discussing their key properties, and paying special attention to their observations in different space plasmas.

Current Sheets, Plasmoids and Flux Ropes in the Heliosphere: Part I. 2-D or not 2-D? General and Observational Aspects

Pezzi O.;Servidio S.;Matthaeus W.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Recent accumulation of a critical mass of observational material from different spacecraft complete with the enhanced abilities of numerical methods have led to a boom of studies revealing the high complexity of processes occurring in the heliosphere. Views on the solar wind filling the interplanetary medium have dramatically developed from the beginning of the space era. A 2-D picture of the freely expanding solar corona and non-interacting solar wind structures described as planar or spherically-symmetric objects has dominated for decades. Meanwhile, the scientific community gradually moved to a modern understanding of the importance of the 3-D nature of heliospheric processes and their studies via MHD/kinetic simulations, as well as observations of large-scale flows and streams both in situ and remotely, in white light and/or via interplanetary scintillations. The new 3-D approach has provided an opportunity to understand the dynamics of heliospheric structures and processes that could not even be imagined before within the 2-D paradigm. In this review, we highlight a piece of the puzzle, showing the evolution of views on processes related to current sheets, plasmoids, blobs and flux ropes of various scales and origins in the heliosphere. The first part of the review focuses on introducing these plasma structures, discussing their key properties, and paying special attention to their observations in different space plasmas.
2021
Current sheets
Plasmoids
Flux ropes
Magnetic islands
Magnetic 
reconnection
Particle acceleration
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/360744
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