New Magnetic event discovered in near-Earth Environment


The surroundings which are close to our Earth is still full of secrets and hidden activities. In a recent discovery that has been reported in the journal Nature, scientists who are engaged in the job of NASA’s Magnetospheric multiscale spacecraft (MMS) have found out a new sort of magnetic event in near our Earth environment by taking the help of an innovative technique to squeeze in maximum data.

Magnetic reconnection is considered to be one of the most crucial element in the space which is filled with particles around the earth, and it is known as the plasma. This fundamental process helps to spread magnetic energy as well as charged particles both of which are equally important for a better understanding for the scientists regarding dynamic space weather system. The process of reconnection takes place when crossed magnetic field lines snap, thereby spreading nearby particles at high speed. However, the new invention has found reconnection in a place where it has never been detected before and that place in within the turbulent plasma.

According to Tai Phan who is the senior fellow at the University of California and also a lead author has viewed that within the plasma universe there are two types of the critical phenomenon: one is the magnetic reconnection, and the other one is turbulence. He has further said that this particular discovery would bridge the gap between two processes.

Magnetic reconnection has been felt by the scientists on a numerous occasion however within calm situations. This discovery which has taken place is within an area called the magnetosheath which is just outside the boundary of the magnetosphere. It is a region where the solar wind is very much turbulent. Earlier scientists did not even have an idea as to whether reconnection process was even possible in that region. This is so because the plasma is very unruly in that particular region. MMS, however, found a solution and said that such result was possible but of a magnitude which is much smaller than the previous spacecraft could probe.

MMS uses a very detailed process whereby it takes the help of four identical spacecraft which are flying in a pyramid formation to discover magnetic reconnection around the Earth in three dimensions. Since the spaceship operates very close to each other, they can quickly achieve multi spacecraft formation, and as a result, they are in a position to observe such phenomena which no one has done before.