Articles | Volume 29, issue 2
02 Feb 2011
 | 02 Feb 2011

Current sheets from Ulysses observation

B. Miao, B. Peng, and G. Li

Abstract. Current sheet is a significant source of solar wind MHD turbulence intermittency. It has long been recognized that these structures can arise from non-linear interactions of MHD turbulence. Alternatively, they may also be relic structures in the solar wind that have a solar origin, e.g., magnetic walls of flux tubes that separate solar wind plasma into distinct parcels. Identifying these structures in the solar wind is crucial to understanding the properties of the solar wind MHD turbulence. Using Ulysses observations we examine 3-year worth of solar wind magnetic field data when the Ulysses is at low latitude during solar minimum. Extending the previous work of Li (2007, 2008), we develop an automatic data analysis method of current sheet identification. Using this method, we identify more than 28000 current sheets. Various properties of the current sheet are obtained. These include the distributions of the deflection angle across the current sheet, the thickness of the current sheet and the waiting time statistics between current sheets.