What causes magnetic reconnection?
Plasma's resistivity and its effects.
Magnetic reconnection happens due to:
- Plasma's electrical resistivity near the external layer is contrary to the electric current that sustains the topology change of the magnetic field. Thus, allowing magnetic flux which 'pulls' plasma, by magnetic tension , along the magnetic lines.
- It occurs when two m. field lines join and realign.
This can be explained pretty well by Maxwell's equations .
Nonetheless, as stated by NASA, much of what is known is scarce yet:
"Scientists want to know exactly what conditions, what tipping points, trigger magnetic reconnection events. (...) True understanding, however, requires observing magnetic reconnection up close – so MMS will take its measurements in Earth's own magnetosphere, an ideal natural laboratory ..." click here
Here its importance: Why is magnetic reconnection important?