TURBULENCE-GENERATED PROTON-SCALE STRUCTURES IN THE TERRESTRIAL MAGNETOSHEATH
Zoltán Vörös, Emiliya Yordanova, Marius M. Echim, Giuseppe Consolini, Yasuhito Narita
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Recent results of numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations suggest that in collisionless space plasmas turbulence can spontaneously generate thin current sheets. These coherent structures can partially explain intermittency and the non-homogenous distribution of localized plasma heating in turbulence. In this Letter Cluster multi-point observations are used to investigate the distribution of magnetic field discontinuities and the associated small-scale current sheets in the terrestrial
... heath downstream of a quasi-parallel bow shock. It is shown experimentally, for the first time, that the strongest turbulence generated current sheets occupy the long tails of probability distribution functions (PDFs) associated with extremal values of magnetic field partial derivatives. During the analyzed one hour long time interval, about a hundred strong discontinuities, possibly proton-scale current sheets were observed.