Detection of small magnetic flux ropes from the third and fourth Parker Solar Probe encounters

L. L. Zhao, G. P. Zank, Q. Hu, D. Telloni, Y. Chen, L. Adhikari, M. Nakanotani, J. C. Kasper, J. Huang, S. D. Bale, K. E. Korreck, A. W. Case, M. Stevens, J. W. Bonnell, T. Dudok De Wit, K. Goetz, P. R. Harvey, R. J. MacDowall, D. M. Malaspina, M. PulupaD. E. Larson, R. Livi, P. Whittlesey, K. G. Klein, N. E. Raouafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Context. Aims. We systematically search for magnetic flux rope structures in the solar wind to within the closest distance to the Sun of ~0.13 AU, using data from the third and fourth orbits of the Parker Solar Probe. Methods. We extended our previous magnetic helicity-based technique of identifying magnetic flux rope structures. The method was improved upon to incorporate the azimuthal flow, which becomes larger as the spacecraft approaches the Sun. Results. A total of 21 and 34 magnetic flux ropes are identified during the third (21-day period) and fourth (17-day period) orbits of the Parker Solar Probe, respectively. We provide a statistical analysis of the identified structures, including their relation to the streamer belt and heliospheric current sheet crossing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA12
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Methods: observational
  • Solar wind
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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