ISTP Scientists Observe Magnetic Reconnection First-Hand in the
Sun-Earth System, Witness the Process that Creates Auroras and Space
NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Embargoed until 10 a.m. on Thursday, June
PRESS RELEASE: CONNECTION OF SUN'S AND EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELDS PROVIDES
ENERGY FOR AURORAS, SPACE WEATHER
Space physicists have made the first direct observations of the process
that causes auroras and magnetic disturbances -- or space weather --
around the Earth. Settling a fifty-year-old debate, scientists have
directly measured the transfer of energy from the solar wind into the
magnetic space around Earth, or magnetosphere, and down to the
atmosphere. Such events can affect radio communications, satellite
operations, and the control of electric power systems on Earth.
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