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Thread: Cluster Spacecraft Catch a Magnetic Reconnection

  1. #1
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    Post Cluster Spacecraft Catch a Magnetic Reconnection

    ESA's Cluster spacecraft were in the right place at the right time on September 15, 2001. They flew through a region of the Earth's magnetosphere at the exact moment that it reconfigured itself. The wealth of data will help scientists better model interactions between the Earth's magnetosphere and the solar wind, as well as the magnetic fields around other stars and exotic objects with powerful magnetic fields.

    Read the full blog entry

  2. #2
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    An abstract and arXiv e-print can be found here, where the authors mention that the evidence is consistent with a magnetic reconnection event, not that they have definitively observed one.

    Regards,
    Ian Tresman

  3. #3
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    Also being discussed here.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman
    An abstract and arXiv e-print can be found here, where the authors mention that the evidence is consistent with a magnetic reconnection event, not that they have definitively observed one.

    Regards,
    Ian Tresman
    The most important line in the news release:

    We don't know whether reconnection events, if that is what this is, are rare or common.
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  5. #5
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    My personal favourite is:

    Xiao and his colleagues used the Cluster data to deduce the three-dimensional structure and size of the null point, revealing a surprise.

    The null point exists in an unexpected vortex structure about 500 kilometres across. “This characteristic size has never been reported before in observations, theory or simulations,” say Xiao, Pu and Wang.
    My bold, Vortex structure???? As if in helical twist?? What takes on this characteristic shape in the universe??? Mmmmm....surprising if you were just expecting magical magnetic reconection taking place!!!

    Also lots of magnetic "stuff" appearing in seeming isolation to any asociated electrical "stuff". Question is can this realy be the case?

    Sol

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