Transcripts of G2013-032 Seeing ReconnectionV6

(Music) On August 17, 2011, the sun emitted a solar flare. Two of NASA's spavecraft, SDO and RHESSI witnessed the event. They saw more than jut the flare; they captured magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection is when magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy. Scientists believe magnetic reconnection drives almost every dynamic event on the sun, including solar flares. While we cannot see magnetic field lines, NASA's SDO can observe solar particles that move along them, tracing out giant arcades of magnetic loops on the sun's surface. Watch the magnetic structure in the background. The cusp flattens out on top. We see reconnection occur as an X shape begins to form and then splits - with half the solar material falling down and the other half escaping into space. A flare bursts from the arcade of loops, and reconnection propagates further down the arcade. The observation is verified by RHESSI data. RHESSI saw pockets of high temperatures above and below the loop. This signature arrangement indicates reconnection. The two data sets provide visual evidence of reconnection producing a solar flare and will help scientists understand the role magnetic reconnection plays in these amazing eruptions. (beep) (beep