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Kinetic-scale current sheets observed in the solar wind are frequently approximately force-free despite the fact that their plasma β is of the order of one. In-situ measurements have recently shown that plasma density and temperature often vary across the current sheets, while the plasma pressure is approximately uniform. In many cases these density and temperature variations are asymmetric with respect to the center of the current sheet. To model these observations theoretically we develop in this paper equilibria of kinetic-scale force-free current sheets that have plasma density and temperature gradients. The models can also be useful for analysis of stability and dissipation of the current sheets in the solar wind.
- Solar wind
- Current sheets
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