Article images

Alfven-wave double-layer
A cluster of double layers forming in an Alfvén wave, about a sixth of the distance from the left. Source

Alfvén wave

Heliospheric current sheet
The heliospheric current sheet results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium [1]. The wavy spiral shape has been likened to a ballerina's skirt, and carries a tiny 10-10 A/m2

Astrophysical plasma

Jupiter aurora
The aurora on Jupiter,[1] powered by Jovian Birkeland currents.[2] Source/credit

Birkeland current

Heliospheric current sheet
The heliospheric current sheet results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium [1]

Current sheet

Saturn Aurora
Saturnian aurora whose reddish colour is characteristic of ionized hydrogen plasma.[1] Powered by the Saturnian equivalent of (filamentary) Birkeland currents, streams of charged particles from the interplanetary medium interact with the planet's magnetic field and funnel down to the poles.[2] Double layers are associated with (filamentary) currents,[3][4] and their electric fields accelerate ions and electrons.[5]

Double layer

Heliospheric current sheet
The Heliospheric current sheet carries a total electric current of about three trillion Amps (3×109 Amps)[1] Source

Electric currents in space plasmas

Birkeland Terrella
Kristian Birkeland and his terrella experiment

Laboratory astrophysics

Lightning over Oradea, Romania
Lightning bolts illustrating electromagnetically pinched plasma filaments

Pinch