The Multiscale Magnetospheric Mission (MMS), a space project consisting of four satellites launched by NASA in 2015, has discovered a magnetic explosion on the night side of the earth, which will enable a better understanding of the phenomenon. of magnetic reconnection, according to an article published Thursday in the journal Science.
The mission had the ability to obtain high-resolution images of the night side of our planet, a new perspective that provides NASA with information on the operation of magnetic reconnection, "a process of energy conversion that occurs in many astrophysical contexts. [en todo el universo]including the magnetosphere of the earth. "
This is the first time that scientists have been able to observe this phenomenon thanks to a stream of particles symmetrically aligned in the shape of a tail that, according to the Science Alert portal, is a "quieter version" of the chaotic activity recorded in the solar side of the magnetosphere of the earth. "The more we know about these reconnections, the more we can prepare for external events that are possible [de este fenómeno] around the earth or at any point in the universe, "said Roy Torbert, deputy principal investigator of MMS.
The scientists, who had already mapped all the details of this phenomenon in this part of our atmosphere in October 2015, have now seen it, in the form of a comet, on the dark side of the earth, giving them a new vision. of the same, because it reveals flowing streams of rays of high-energy electrons moving at a speed of more than 15,000 kilometers per second.
The earth's surface is protected from the constant rain of electrons and high-speed protons released by the sun by means of "a magnetic umbrella", whose "tissue" wriggles and wrinkles with energy as it pulls the particles in. Length of channels in loop "and finally it returns to space, Science Alert remembers. In case of a large accumulation of these particles, this could cause "chaos for networks and electrical systems".
Launched on March 13, 2015, the MMS is a tetrahedral satellite formation that aims to gather information on the microphysics of magnetic reconnection, the acceleration of energetic particles and turbulence, as well as the processes that occur in many astrophysical plasma's.