Magnetic field line lengths inside interplanetary magnetic flux ropes
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We report on the detailed and systematic study of field line twist and length distributions within magnetic flux ropes embedded in interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). The Grad-Shafranov reconstruction method is utilized together with a constant-twist nonlinear force-free (Gold-Hoyle) flux rope model to reveal the close relation between the field line twist and length in cylindrical flux ropes, based on in situ Wind spacecraft measurements. We show that the field line twist distributions within interplanetary flux ropes are inconsistent with the Lundquist model. In particular, we utilize the unique measurements of magnetic field line lengths within selected ICME events as provided by Kahler et al. (<link href=\#jgra51898-bib-0016\"/>) based on energetic electron burst observations at 1 AU and the associated type III radio emissions detected by the Wind spacecraft. These direct measurements are compared with our model calculations to help assess the flux rope interpretation of the embedded magnetic structures. By using the different flux rope models, we show that the in situ direct measurements of field line lengths are consistent with a flux rope structure with spiral field lines of constant and low twist, largely different from that of the Lundquist model, especially for relatively large-scale flux ropes.
Hu, Qiang, Jiong Qiu, and Sam Krucker. "Magnetic field line lengths inside interplanetary magnetic flux ropes." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 120, no. 7 (July 2015): 5266-5283. DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JA021133.