POLAR Provides First Experimental Documentation of Magnetic Reconnection
Reconnection, the fundamental process for transferring/exchanging energy in the universe, occurs near earth, at the sun, and at other star systems.
Magnetic reconnection is no longer just a theoretical construct with schematic illustrations.
The Hydra, EFI and MFE instrument teams, using POLAR particle and field data are producing maps of the reconnection site.
- 3.5 hours of full resolution magnetic field, electric field, ion and electron particle data
- approximately 2 million pieces of information
- POLAR orbit was tangential to the magnetopause current layer
- Although stationary within its own moving frame of reference, the motion of the reconnection site relative to the moving spacecraft meant that the spacecraft, over time, wandered in and about the reconnection region, sampling and resampling the layers.
- Superposed epoch processing of the ~2 million pieces of information yielded experimental confirmation of 12 theoretical predictions regarding collisionless magnetic reconnection.
Press release information on this article located here.
Click to download PowerPoint Presentation.
Official NASA Contact: Barbara Giles
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