Magnetic reconnection occurs when magnetic fields connect, disconnect, and reconfigure explosively, releasing bursts of energy that can reach the order of billions of megatons of trinitrotoluene
Can anyone explain this? It is nice to say "magnetic fields disconnect" but this does not evoke anything of substance - magnetic field lines are always closed loops around electric currents. So should NASA rather be talking about the dual, currents in space (born by ion streams I imagine) that snake around wildly? And where do these billions of megatons go? I suppose, radio waves?
Researchers theorize that the principles of magnetic reconnection and the energy release they generate are a significant force throughout the universe including the acceleration of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
Not in this solar system. Near supernovas and neutron stars, more like. And possibly inside cloistered chambers inhabited by politicians.