Summary of heliospheric current and plasma sheet studies: WIND observations 

R. P. Lepping, A. Szabo, M. Peredo, and A. Campbell

Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771


This paper summarizes interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) analyses performed on WIND magnetometer data for the period since the turn-on of the instrument in early November 1995 until early April 1995. It discusses the pattern of the timing of the large scale (1-2 AU) IMF polarity changes (revealing major variation during this period), general statistical properties of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) (such as, surface normal, relative BN-component, rotation angle of the magnetic field in the current sheet-plane, etc.), and small scale surface waves on the HCS. The individual HCS crossings were predominately tangential discontinuities. The field magnitude was examined around HVS crossings to investigate possible plasma sheet properties; the plasma sheet was not always present. In those cases when the plasma sheet's presence was most apparent, the directional discontinuity of the field (the embedded current sheet) appeared to be most abrupt.

Proceedings of Solar Wind Eight, 526, 1996