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Does the Parker Solar Probe mission investigate the flow of currents near the sun? If so, were equivalents of Birkeland currents detected? What were the values of these currents?

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    $\begingroup$ Here is rather bulky review of Parker scientific results for the first 4 years: link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-023-00952-4. But, readind diagonally, I could not find "currents". The authors usually tell about "waves" and "structures". One can read "Conclusions" chapter. $\endgroup$
    – Heopps
    Nov 10, 2023 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ "The signature of the ambipolar electric field has also been clearly revealed in electron data (Halekas et al. 2021a; Berčič et al. 2021a) as a deficit of electrons moving back towards the Sun. This loss of electrons occurs more than 60% of the time inside 0.2 AU. " Could these be some equivalents of Birkeland currents? $\endgroup$ Nov 11, 2023 at 20:29

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Electric currents certainly flow in the corona. The idea that the corona is heated by electrical heating in turbulent current sheets goes back to Parker in the 1970s. Very large currents can be inferred from the effects on the magnetic field of the sun, as large as $2.5\times 10^9 \mathrm{A}$ (source) (more than 1000 times greater than the Birkeland currents)

While the study of the electromagnetic fields in the solar corona is a prime science goal of the Parker probe, I can't find a paper that gives a new value for the magnitude of currents in the solar corona.

Also the Birkeland currents are due to the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field, the current flows in the solar corona are driven directly by the sun and its own magnetic field.

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