Reconnection tames the turbulent magnetic fields around Earth

(University of California – Berkeley) Wherever magnetic fields occur in the cosmos, their field lines tend to cross and reconnect, spitting out charged particles. To date, space scientists have studied these short circuits in the near-Earth environment, but only in rather calm regions of the magnetosphere. Now scientists led by Tai Phan at UC Berkeley have seen how turbulent magnetic fields reconnect in the much more violent magnetosheath. While normal reconnection generates ion jets, turbulent reconnection creates electron jets.