Earth  Sun  ID: 4088

Reconnection Fronts - What the Models Say...

Mathematical models of Earth's magnetosphere have become increasingly more complex and accurate. They have sufficient detail to illustrate many small-scale phenomena.

In this simulation run of the Geospace General Circulation Model (GGCM) we see new details that have been observed by in situ satellites. As the solar wind is deflected around Earth's magnetosphere (the 'bubble' of plasma surrounding Earth held by Earth's magnetic field), plasma flows within the bubble can change. In the graphics below, physical variables such as magnetic field and electric currents are plotted. With these variables, we overlay the net flow of the plasma (arrows), subjected to selection criteria to separate flows of plasma away from Earth and towards Earth. Green arrows are low-speed flows (below about 150 kilometers/second), while red arrows correspond to high-speed plasmal flows (about 300 kilometers/second and higher).


For More Information

Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Genna Duberstein (USRA): Video Editor
Vassilis Angelopoulos (University of California at Berkeley): Scientist
Joachim Raeder (University of New Hampshire): Scientist
Karen Fox (ADNET): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:
Geospace General Circulation Model (GGCM) also referred to as: GGCM
Model - University of New Hampshire
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Magnetic Reconnection
SVS >> Magnetohydrodynamics
SVS >> Magnetosphere
SVS >> Plasma
GCMD >> Location >> Magnetotail
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version