PerspectiveSpace Physics

Coupling Across Many Scales

Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 834-835
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081610

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Enormous plasma jets with temperatures of a million kelvin or more have been observed in Earth's magnetosphere. These plasmas are generated explosively through a process called magnetic reconnection. In his Perspective, Hoshino highlights the report by Drake et al ., who show that their production involves coupled processes from a scale of several Earth radii down to a scale of a few kilometers. Similar processes may occur in the Sun and other astrophysical settings.