NASA mission to study Earth's magnetosphere

March 12, 2015 5:30 PM

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More specifically, the four spacecraft -- set to launch Friday evening, March 12 -- will study how Earth's magnetosphere interacts with charged particles delivered by the sun, and the phenomenon researchers are most interested in studying is magnetic reconnection.

Magnetic reconnection is the process by which crisscrossed streams of electromagnetically charged particles violently realign. These magnetic explosions happen regularly on the surface of the sun, fueling solar flares, coronal mass ejections and similar phenomena.

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