Magnetic field line reconnection is a universal plasma process responsible for the conversion of magnetic field energy to plasma heating and charged particle acceleration. Solar flares and Earth's magnetospheric substorms are two of the most investigated dynamical systems where global magnetic field reconfiguration is accompanied by energization of plasma populations. Such a reconfiguration includes formation of a long-living current system connecting the primary energy release region and cold dense conductive plasma of the photosphere/ionosphere. In both flares and substorms the evolution of this current system correlates with the formation and dynamics of energetic particle fluxes (although energy ranges can be different for these systems). Our study is focused on the similarity between flares and substorms. Using a wide range of data sets available for flare and substorm investigations, we qualitatively compare the dynamics of currents and energetic particle fluxes for one flare and one substorm. We show that there is a clear correlation between energetic particle precipitations (associated with energy release due to magnetic reconnection seen from riometer and hard X-ray measurements) and magnetic field reconfiguration/formation of the current system, whereas the long-term current system evolution correlates better with hot plasma fluxes (seen from in situ and soft X-ray measurements). We then discuss how data sets of in situ measurements of magnetospheric substorms can help interpret solar flare data.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science