The magnetosphere has a large intake of solar wind energy

July 22, 2016
Artist concept of the GEOTAIL and the MMS missions to study how does the Earth’s magnetosphere take in the energy of the solar wind. Credit: ISAS/JAXA

Solar wind forms the energy source for aurora explosions. How does the Earth's magnetosphere take in the energy of the solar wind? An international team led by Hiroshi Hasegawa and Naritoshi Kitamura (ISAS/JAXA) analyzed data taken by the US-Japan collaborative mission GEOTAIL and NASA's MMS satellites and revealed that the interaction between the magnetic fields of Earth and the Sun, or more precisely the phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection, can feed the aurora explosions.

Artist concept of the GEOTAIL and the MMS missions to study how does the Earth's magnetosphere take in the energy of the solar wind. (Credits: ISAS/JAXA)

The region of outer space near Earth, also called geospace, is not a peaceful region. For example, solar wind, a fast flow of charged particles driven by the Sun's magnetic field that blows against the Earth, is harmful for lives on the Earth. Fortunately, our planet has a shield. The Earth's magnetosphere provides an invisible protection from the solar wind.

The interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere can cause various phenomena, such as aurora.

According to the prevailing theory, an aurora explosion involves four main processes:

(1) The energy of the solar wind enters the Earth's magnetosphere,
(2) The tail of the magnetosphere stores the energy,
(3) The stored energy is released quickly and transferred to the plasma particles,
(4) These plasma particles move toward the Earth's polar region along lines, and finally cause an aurora explosion.

Magnetic reconnection is believed to be the key mechanism involved in the entry (1) and release (3) of the energy of the solar wind.

Using data from the GEOTAIL and MMS missions, the international team led by Hiroshi Hasegawa and Naritoshi Kitamura (ISAS/JAXA) studied the first of the four processes mentioned above. The data was collected in October and November 2015. On one day, GEOTAIL and MMS both detected plasma jets produced by magnetic reconnection lasting over a period of 5 hours.

The team first focused on detecting the disappearance of magnetic ropes. When the magnetic reconnection process occurs at multiple sites, magnetic ropes composed of twisted are produced. It was commonly believed that magnetic ropes become larger when swept away by the plasma jets. However, this study revealed that magnetic ropes sometimes disappear. This means that the energy of the solar wind does not necessarily enter the magnetosphere even when magnetic reconnection occurs. In other words, this implies that magnetic ropes can prevent the entry of the solar wind energy.

This study also showed that magnetic reconnection continues over a period of at least 5 hours. Considering the orbits of the satellites together, the team estimated that the magnetic reconnection line extends over a distance of about 70,000 km.

Combining these results, the team concluded that the magnetic reconnection process is sufficient for taking in the energy of the solar wind and inducing aurora explosions.

Furthermore, this study revealed that the magnetic reconnection line shifts to the winter hemisphere side. A previous study pointed out that a shift may result in a decline in the efficiency of the intake from the . Also, aurora activities are known to decrease during the summer and winter seasons. Therefore, the shift of the line may be related with the seasonal variations of the auroral activities.

In this context, JAXA plans to launch a new spacecraft called the ERG satellite that aims to observe the inner region of the . Collaborative observations with GEOTAIL and ERG satellites will help to understand phenomena taking place in the geospace.

Explore further: The solar wind breaks through the Earth's magnetic field

More information: H. Hasegawa et al. Decay of mesoscale flux transfer events during quasi-continuous spatially extended reconnection at the magnetopause, Geophysical Research Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069225

N. Kitamura et al. Shift of the magnetopause reconnection line to the winter hemisphere under southward IMF conditions: Geotail and MMS observations, Geophysical Research Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069095

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cantdrive85
2 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2016
This article is very heavy with the pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo. It would be swell if they could identify which one of Earth's magnetic field lines is the reconnector. Maybe they could make a map and then number the magnetic field lines 1 to infinity and label which one of those individual lines is responsible.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2016
As they are probably in constant flux/motion, that might be a little more difficult.
in other words - it ain't static...
cantdrive85
3 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2016
Actually Whyd, "field lines" don't move. As a matter of fact, they don't exist other than on paper. To create a field line on paper is to create a snapshot in time. For the next moment you must refigure the entirety of the field, but those lines have no relation to the preceding/following moment. The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it, beyond that the field lines are meaningless. They don't exist, they can't move, they can't break or reconnect. Any explanation that relies on a physical trait or some action of the field lines is nothing more than pseudoscience. It's a simple unavoidable fact of EM physics.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
Actually Whyd, "field lines" don't move. As a matter of fact, they don't exist other than on paper. To create a field line on paper is to create a snapshot in time. For the next moment you must refigure the entirety of the field, but those lines have no relation to the preceding/following moment. The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it, beyond that the field lines are meaningless. They don't exist, they can't move, they can't break or reconnect. Any explanation that relies on a physical trait or some action of the field lines is nothing more than pseudoscience. It's a simple unavoidable fact of EM physics.

Okay, but there are "levels" of equalization, if ya wanna be picky...
cantdrive85
2 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
Actually Whyd, "field lines" don't move. As a matter of fact, they don't exist other than on paper. To create a field line on paper is to create a snapshot in time. For the next moment you must refigure the entirety of the field, but those lines have no relation to the preceding/following moment. The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it, beyond that the field lines are meaningless. They don't exist, they can't move, they can't break or reconnect. Any explanation that relies on a physical trait or some action of the field lines is nothing more than pseudoscience. It's a simple unavoidable fact of EM physics.

Okay, but there are "levels" of equalization, if ya wanna be picky...

So I'm being "picky" because I'm opposed to the use of pseudoscience? An entire area of science is based upon pseudoscientific principles, and I'm being "picky".
Whydening Gyre
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 23, 2016
Actually Whyd, "field lines" don't move. ..., they can't break or reconnect. Any explanation that relies on a physical trait or some action of the field lines is nothing more than pseudoscience. It's a simple unavoidable fact of EM physics.

Okay, but there are "levels" of equalization, if ya wanna be picky...

So I'm being "picky" because I'm opposed to the use of pseudoscience? An entire area of science is based upon pseudoscientific principles, and I'm being "picky".

It's simply a scientific methodology for describing magnetic activity...
From your own comment -
"The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it."
cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2016
You're defending the use of pseudoscience? C'mon Whyd...
Whydening Gyre
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2016
You're defending the use of pseudoscience? C'mon Whyd...


To re iterate -
From your own comment -
"The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it."

How else would you do it?
Whydening Gyre
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2016

"The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it."

The field is there. It fluctuates. The "lines" are corresponding electrons/particles reacting to it and each other (which - cause the fluctuations to begin with...)
cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2016
You're defending the use of pseudoscience? C'mon Whyd...


To re iterate -
From your own comment -
"The movies of magnetic field lines moving around are helpful to allow us to visualize how the vector field would appear if we could see it."

How else would you do it?

I don't have a problem with that stated use, it is helpful.

What is not helpful is "reifying an abstract theoretical concept.
Field lines are not real-world 3-D entities and thus cannot do
anything. Like mathematical singularities, field lines are pure
abstractions and cannot be reified into being real 3-D material
objects."
http://electric-c...2007.pdf

Phys1
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
@cd45
How about a light pulse then? Is the field moving?
If it is, so are the field lines.
If it is not, then what is it that is moving ?
cantdrive85
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
The "lines" are corresponding electrons/particles reacting to it and each other

Extensive exploration of magnetic fields has revealed a number of hard-and-fast rules. We use magnetic field lines to represent the field (the lines are a pictorial tool, not a physical entity in and of themselves). The properties of magnetic field lines can be summarized by these rules:

1)The direction of the magnetic field is tangent to the field line at any point in space. A small compass will point in the direction of the field line.
2)The strength of the field is proportional to the closeness of the lines. It is exactly proportional to the number of lines per unit area perpendicular to the lines (called the areal density).
3)Magnetic field lines can never cross, meaning that the field is unique at any point in space.
4)Magnetic field lines are continuous, forming closed loops without
beginning or end. They go from the north pole to the south pole.

(TBC)

cantdrive85
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
(Source for last post)
https://www.bound...49-6686/

See #'s 3 and 4, those two rules eliminate the possibility for magnetic reconnection.

First, they cannot cross. How can they possibly "merge" without crossing and "short circuiting" as is the claim.

Secondly, they form closed loops without beginning or end. How then can one describe a "broken field line"? And if it has no beginning or end, what exactly is "reconnecting"?
Phys1
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
@cd85
These questions constitute an invitation to advocate magnet reconnection. I am not falling into this trap this time. What you should do is surgically point out mistakes in the MR approach that you believe are there. Come forward with a solid story.
cantdrive85
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
These questions constitute an invitation to advocate magnet reconnection

Yes, that is correct. There is usually no shortage of standard theory defenders to step up and advocate whatever pseudoscience they happen to be pandering.
I am not falling into this trap this time.

Acknowledging it being a "trap" would suggest you too agree MR is pseudoscience. Actions louder than words and all...
What you should do is surgically point out mistakes in the MR approach that you believe are there.

There are specific points and questions in this thread. I.e., the reification of moving, breaking, and reconnecting field lines.
Come forward with a solid story.

Search this site for MR, not just in the title, you will see I have many comment regarding this pseudoscience and why it is considered pseudoscience. I have also included peer-reviewed papers and lectures by a Nobel prizing winning physicist to show this to be the case. Stop lying to deceive the other readers.
Phys1
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
These questions constitute an invitation to advocate magnet reconnection

Yes, that is correct. There is usually no shortage of standard theory defenders to step up and advocate whatever pseudoscience they happen to be pandering.
I am not falling into this trap this time.

Acknowledging it being a "trap" would suggest you too agree MR is pseudoscience. Actions louder than words and all...

No I don't, but I do think that people should discuss the current distributions that give rise to the fields instead of the fields.
The trap is that you evade the responsibility of making a solid argument. YOU show the theory to be wrong first. Then I will review your argument.
Phys1
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016

There are specific points and questions in this thread. I.e., the reification of moving, breaking, and reconnecting field lines.

Apart from the breaking, which would imply magnetic monopoles, I do not see the problem. So point out a leading publication in which field lines are broken. Then tell me what is wrong with it.
Come forward with a solid story.

Search this site for MR,

That is not the deal. YOU come forward with a solid story.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
Apart from the breaking, which would imply magnetic monopoles, I do not see the problem.

So moving field lines (pseudoscience) you're okay with.
And you can envision unbroken field lines can cross and "reconnect" (pseudoscience).

I don't have to come with a solid story or prove MR wrong. You and the other pseudoscientists are mixing science with decidedly nonscientific concepts. That's as far as we need to take the discussion, you're mixing pseudoscience into physics, that is where it's wrong.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2016
@CD86 doesn't have a story. It has a bunch of buzz words and non-words it puts together into a word salad it claims is meaningful.

Examples:
"pseudoscience"
"reconnector"
"snapshot in time"
"reifying"
"singularities"
"tangent"
"areal density"
"reconnection"
I gave up after this.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
Apart from the breaking, which would imply magnetic monopoles, I do not see the problem.

So moving field lines (pseudoscience) you're okay with.
And you can envision unbroken field lines can cross and "reconnect" (pseudoscience).

Wasn't it the scientific method they used to come up with the descriptors (filed lines) that you stated are useful visualizations of field variations?
Then not actually pseudoscience by definition.
Phys1
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
Apart from the breaking, which would imply magnetic monopoles, I do not see the problem.

So moving field lines (pseudoscience) you're okay with.
And you can envision unbroken field lines can cross and "reconnect" (pseudoscience).

IT IS UP TO YOU to show that it is wrong. I don't give a rat's ass.

I don't have to come with a solid story or prove MR wrong.

Yes you do. Your incompetence does not release you from that responsibility.
You and the other pseudoscientists are mixing science with decidedly nonscientific concepts.

As a said I am not falling into this trap. I don't give a rat's ass about reconnection. You do.
You do some work, then I will shoot the holes in it.
That's as far as we need to take the discussion, you're mixing pseudoscience into physics, that is where it's wrong.

I do no such thing. You evade your responsibility by playing the victim. You are a coward.
Phys1
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
I am looking forward to crushing you like the scientific cockroach you are.
So come from under that kitchen sink or wherever you hide and let's have a ball.
If you chicken out now I will refer to you as chicken85 from now on.
Phys1
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
Or cockroach85. Haven't decided yet.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
I do think that people should discuss the current distributions that give rise to the fields instead of the fields.

Good point.
I think CD may have fallen into the trap of believing the visualizations ARE the science rather than a linear description of the science...
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2016
So moving field lines (pseudoscience) you're okay with.
And you can envision unbroken field lines can cross and "reconnect" (pseudoscience).
Remember, we're talking electron and charged particle distribution within the field (that the field lines represent), not the field itself...
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2016
So moving field lines (pseudoscience) you're okay with.
And you can envision unbroken field lines can cross and "reconnect" (pseudoscience).
Remember, we're talking electron and charged particle distribution within the field (that the field lines represent), not the field itself...
In the case of reconnection, we're talking about changes in field strength rippling through the field and causing reconfiguration, with release of energy as concentrations of particles carry charges around. It's easy to think about this by visualizing the field lines in an electric motor as the rotor poles move relative to the stators. You can visualize the field lines snapping away from one stator and reconnecting to the next. If you have more advanced visualization capabilities you can visualize the fields reconfiguring themselves, but the field line approach is more intuitive.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 26, 2016
No I don't, but I do think that people should discuss the current distributions that give rise to the fields instead of the fields.

Careful there phails1, you might just answer your own question. Cart before the horse and all.

An EE's view on the MR pseudoscience. He makes it clear, as an EE professor should.
https://www.youtu...mJmDi6uM
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2016
sub: Magnetic Re-connection-Cosmos Quest
Magnetic Re-connection between sun to Earth is a reality. Do they have in index ? Do they have comprehension and orientation of field-Flow lines and core route ?
No interaction-so far . it is an unfortunate situation while Science needs advancement- not stagnation.
Save earth Planet and Life Support -is Necessity-Demand scenario.
http://archive.or...osmology
15 Books at LULU. http://www.lulu.c...jnani108

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