Scientists at NASA have developed a theory that explains how explosions occur on the Sun, and help better predict geomagnetic storms and solar flares that can impact Earth.
An explosive process called magnetic reconnection triggers solar flares, which can, in just minutes, release enough energy to power the whole world for 20,000 years. Scientists have spent the last half-century trying to understand how this process happens.
The team at NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) has a new theory that explains how the most explosive type of magnetic reconnection – called fast reconnection – occurs and why it happens at a consistent speed.
Magnetic reconnection is a process that occurs in plasma – energetic, fluid-like material that is exquisitely sensitive to magnetic fields.