Plasma Astrophysics Applications by David Stern from NASA for an EM Universe
Particles in space carry an electric charge, and a moving electric charge can be viewed as equivalent to an electric current. Magnetic forces try to make plasma “co-rotate” with the Earth. Their effect is the same, as if magnetic field lines which thread the plasma are viewed as attached to it. Plasma conducts electricity, and earth’s atmosphere is an insulator.
Electric currents often flow in space without any voltage driving them. No electric field is involved, because the magnetic field is doing it all, when it has the appropriate structure. The electric field moves both protons and electrons in the same direction with the same velocity of both motions. The result is always sideways flow of the plasma, a bulk flow motion of the gas. When some powerful cause “pushes” plasma to move in some direction, an electric field helps achieve this. The positive and negative charges creating such a field need only a relatively small number of electrons to be moved to new positions. The motion of plasma — is changing the magnetic field line structure — that is associated with an electric field, such as the solar wind. Where can such electric fields come from ? FROM FAR OUT IN OUTER SPACE !