Artist's impression of the Heliospheric current sheet.
Image credit: Original painting, Werner Heil, NASA, 1977.
The image was developed by Prof. John Wilcox as a tool for visualizing the surface that separates the two magnetic polarity regions produced by the Sun in the solar system. His concept was that a "baseball seam" shape located near the Sun separates the two magnetic hemispheres of the interplanetary medium; the shape was determined by the large-scale magnetic field at the Sun. That geometrical shape is carried radially outward by the solar wind. As the Sun and the magnetic field configuration it generates continue to rotate underneath the structure, the resulting surface becomes the one you see in the painting. (ref: Todd Hoeksema, Wilcox Solar Observatory)
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