This animation shows a magnetospheric substorm, during which the reconnection causes energy to be rapidly released along the field lines causing the auroras to brighten.
Earth's magnetic field lines including plasma.
Coronal mass ejection hitting the bow shock.
Changes in Earth's magnetic field lines as a result of the coronal mass ejection.
Reconnection of the magnetic field lines.
Plasma after the magnetic field line reconnection.
The plasma encountering the Earth's atmosphere, causing auroras.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center- Conceptual Image Lab
- Walt Feimer (HTSI) [Lead]