Differences between solar wind plasmoids and ideal magnetohydrodynamic filaments
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Plasma irregularities present in the solar wind are plasmoids, i.e. plasma-magnetic field entities. These actual plasmoids differ from ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) filaments. Indeed, (1) their "skin" is not infinitely thin but has a physical thickness which is determined by the gyromotion of the thermal ions and electrons, (2) they are of finite extent and their magnetic flux is interconnected with the interplanetary magnetic flux, (3) when they penetrate into the magnetosphere their magnetic field lines become rooted in the ionosphere (i.e. in a medium with finite transverse conductivity), (4) the external Lorentz force acting on their boundary surface depends on the orientation of their magnetic moment with respect to the external magnetic field, (5) when their mechanical equilibrium is disturbed, hydromagnetic oscillations can be generated. It is also suggested that the front side of all solar wind plasmoids which have penetrated into the magnetosphere is the inner edge of the magnetospheric boundary layer while the magnetopause is considered to be the surface where the magnetospheric plasma ceases to have a trapped pitch angle distribution.
CitationLemaire, J.; Roth, M. (1981). Differences between solar wind plasmoids and ideal magnetohydrodynamic filaments. , Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 29, Issue 8, 843-849, DOI: 10.1016/0032-0633(81)90075-1.