Satellite diagram

Emmanuel Masongsong/UCLA

Artist rendition of the Earth’s magnetosphere during a magnetic storm. At right, three THEMIS satellites witnessed reconnection surprisingly close to geosynchronous orbit where many other critical satellites reside. The reconnection site is denoted by the red “X,” generating explosive outflows of energized particles towards and away from Earth (yellow arrows). Earth-directed electrons (red and pink) carry energy along magnetic field lines to power the aurora at Earth’s north and south poles. These energized electrons were detected by the GOES weather satellite (center). 

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