Magnetic Storms

Periodically, our sun releases plasma in a coronal mass ejection. Afterwards, the local magnetic field lines shift and reorganize. We can see that process in action here because charged particles spin along the magnetic lines, outlining them as bright loops in this imagery. This sequence – one of the best examples of this phenomenon to date – was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in early 2017. To understand behaviors like these, scientists use magnetohydrodynamics, a marriage of the equations of fluid mechanics with Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism. (Image credit: NASA SDO, source)

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