Parker Spiral

Parker Spiral

The heliospheric current sheet is the surface within the Solar System where the polarity of the Sun's magnetic field changes from north to south. This field extends throughout the Sun's equatorial plane in the heliosphere. The shape of the current sheet results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium (Solar Wind). A small electrical current flows within the sheet, about 10−10 A/m². The thickness of the current sheet is about 10,000 km near the orbit of the Earth.

The underlying magnetic field is called the interplanetary magnetic field, and the resulting electric current forms part of the heliospheric current circuit. The heliospheric current sheet is also sometimes called the interplanetary current sheet.

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