Current and high-\(\beta \) sheets in CIR streams: statistics and interaction with the HCS and the magnetosphere

  • A. S. Potapov
Original Article


Thirty events of CIR streams (corotating interaction regions between fast and slow solar wind) were analyzed in order to study statistically plasma structure within the CIR shear zones and to examine the interaction of the CIRs with the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) and the Earth’s magnetosphere. The occurrence of current layers and high-beta plasma sheets in the CIR structure has been estimated. It was found that on average, each of the CIR streams had four current layers in its structure with a current density of more than \(0.12~\mbox{A}/\mbox{m}^{2}\) and about one and a half high-beta plasma regions with a beta value of more than five. Then we traced how and how often the high-speed stream associated with the CIR can catch up with the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) and connect to it. The interface of each fourth CIR stream coincided in time within an hour with the HCS, but in two thirds of cases, the CIR connection with the HCS was completely absent. One event of the simultaneous observation of the CIR stream in front of the magnetosphere by the ACE satellite in the vicinity of the \(L1\) libration point and the Wind satellite in the remote geomagnetic tail was considered in detail. Measurements of the components of the interplanetary magnetic field and plasma parameters showed that the overall structure of the stream is conserved. Moreover, some details of the fine structure are also transferred through the magnetosphere. In particular, the so-called “magnetic hole” almost does not change its shape when moving from \(L1\) point to a neighborhood of \(L2\) point.


Solar wind Current sheet High-beta plasma sheet Magnetosphere Interplanetary magnetic field Solar wind stream 



The study was carried out as a part of the State Task 2018, project No. 007-00163-18-00 and was partially supported by grants 16-05-00631 and 16-05-00056 of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. The solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field data were downloaded from the CDAWeb database ( Author thanks the teams of ACE and Wind projects for the opportunity to use the data of these space observatories. Author is grateful to L.V. Ryzhakova for her help in data processing. Author thanks the referee for careful reading of the manuscript and constructive comments that helped to improve the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RASIrkutskRussia

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