Feeds

Cluster spies turbulent reconnection

Plasma is as plasma does

Build a business case: developing custom apps

New data from the European Space Agency's Cluster satellites show a magnetic reconnection event taking place, even in the turbulent plasma around our planet.

Modelling magnetic reconnection: Credits: Stanford-Lockheed Inst. for Space Research/NASA GSFC

Magnetic reconnection happens when magnetic field lines reconfigure themselves: breaking and reconnecting with other nearby field lines.

The phenomenon can be found in various stellar phenomena: star formation, solar explosions and it has even been linked to the entry of solar material into the Earth's atmosphere. On a larger scale, reconnection has also been observed at the boundary of our solar system and interstellar space.

It has also been predicted, by computer modelling, that it would take place in turbulent plasma environments, but until now had never been observed.

Cluster - a constellation of four satellites, went looking for the phenomenon in the magnetosheath, one of the most turbulent plasma environments in the solar system.The magnetosheath lies just inside the bow shock wave created by the solar wind when it hits the Earth's magnetic field.

They discovered that during a reconnection event, the local plasma is accelerated and heated. The researchers say the work could explain how the sun creates high energy particles.

It might have practical implications for those trying to dissipate energy in fusion devices, and will also be useful for those studying the activity of our sun, particularly solar flares. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.