Magnetic reconnection in Venus' induced magnetotail
The event, which took place about 1.5 Venus radii (about 9000 km) down the magnetotail, is thought to be evidence of a passing plasmoid - a transient magnetic loop structure which is formed by magnetic reconnection in a planetary magnetotail.
The animation shows how reconnection splits the induced magnetotail of Venus, causing most of the plasma in the tail to be ejected into space. It also forms a plasmoid structure - the closed loop - which heads towards the planet and channels a fraction of the energy flux of the solar wind into the night-side atmosphere.
The animation is not to scale.