Origin of the Warped Heliospheric Current Sheet

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Science  01 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4456, pp. 603-605
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4456.603


The warped heliospheric current sheet for early 1976 is calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field by a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity for early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere by Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11, and at the earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large-scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field and that "ballerina skirt" effects may add small-scale ripples.