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On the alignment of plasma anisotropies and the magnetic field direction in the solar wind


  • J. R. Asbridge,

  • S. J. Bame,

  • W. C. Feldman,

  • J. T. Gosling,

  • N. F. Ness


One year's Imp 6 solar wind plasma and magnetic field data are examined to determine whether anisotropies in particle velocity distributions are aligned with the measured interplanetary magnetic field vector. Alignment of components in the analysis plane was generally found to be excellent whenever plasma parameter magnitudes were larger than determination uncertainties, although some spread exists (typical rms ≅ 10°). By assuming cylindrical symmetry about the simultaneously measured magnetic field vector during the 1-year interval under study, three-dimensional values of selected solar wind plasma thermal parameters were constructed from the two-dimensional plasma measurements, and the statistical properties of their distributions have been tabulated.