Inertial-Range Reconnection in Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence and in the Solar Wind
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In situ spacecraft data on the solar wind show events identified as magnetic reconnection with wide outflows and extended "X lines," 10(3)-10(4) times ion scales. To understand the role of turbulence at these scales, we make a case study of an inertial-range reconnection event in a magnetohydrodynamic simulation. We observe stochastic wandering of field lines in space, breakdown of standard magnetic flux freezing due to Richardson dispersion, and a broadened reconnection zone containing many current sheets. The coarse-grain magnetic geometry is like large-scale reconnection in the solar wind, however, with a hyperbolic flux tube or apparent X line extending over integral length scales.
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