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News Link • Solar Flares

NASA scientists see the heart of space weather in action

•, Ellen Miller
Two spacecraft have captured a video of a magnificent explosion on the Sun called magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection lies at the heart of explosions that occur on the surface of the Sun, a press release from NASA explains.
Magnetic reconnection occurs when magnetic field lines come together, break apart, and then exchange partners, snapping into place with a bolt of energy. Scientists at space research agencies such as NASA are seeking to better understand phenomena like magnetic reconnection because they hope that it will aide them in understanding and predicting space weather, which can affect satellites and radio communication. Because magnetic fields are invisible, it can be difficult to observe them in action.
Yang Su, a solar scientist at the University of Graz in Austria, explains that scientists are specifically seeking to understand how magnetic reconnection can cause solar flares.

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