Solar Physics

, 293:116 | Cite as

Magnetic Disconnections at the Boundary of a Small Interplanetary Magnetic Flux Rope Associated with a Reconnection Exhaust

  • JieMin Wang
  • Qiang Liu
  • Yan Zhao


A local current sheet and a subsequent small interplanetary magnetic-flux rope were observed on 1 April 2003 by Wind and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). A Petschek reconnection-like exhaust crossing of the local current sheet was identified using the Walén test. The Wind spacecraft re-entered the reconnection exhaust after the main exhaust encounter, and the reentry may be due to a spatial fold of the current-sheet surface itself. The absence of parallel strahls and the presence of antiparallel strahls on either side of the current sheet suggest that the magnetic-field lines before the exhaust and in the subsequent small flux rope are all open. The \(180^{\circ}\) pitch-angle strahls were clearly absent, and halo-suprathermal electron pitch-angle distributions were observed in the exhaust. This finding means that the open field lines of the magnetic-flux rope were reconnecting to the adjacent open field lines to produce U-shaped field lines disconnected from the Sun. These observations provide direct evidence that the magnetic fields of the interplanetary small magnetic-flux rope were disconnecting from the Sun through magnetic reconnection. This type of disconnected event potentially has important implications for the magnetic-flux budget of the heliosphere.


Solar wind Magnetic reconnection Magnetic-flux rope 



The authors acknowledge support from NSFC under grant Nos. 41674170. This research was also sponsored partly by the Plan For Scientific Innovation Talent of Henan Province (174100510019). The authors thank NASA/GSFC for the use of data from the Wind ACE; these data can be obtained freely from the Coordinated Data Analysis Web.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Space PhysicsLuoyang Normal UniversityLuoyangChina

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