A close-up view of a reconnection site
This animation shows how a reconnection site develops.
The reconnection starts in the middle of the frame; two jets (related to the Alfvén wave signal) develop and propagate to the left and right. This starts at t = 100 and grows to fill the box by the end of the animation.
Close examination reveals an earlier signal (see for example at t = 90): pairs of thin light-blue lines extending from the reconnection site to the left and right edges of the box. These are related to the fast kinetic Alfvén wave signal.
The role of Alfvén waves in the transport of energy from reconnection events towards Earth, and the subsequent generation of auroras is described in Shay et al. 2011 (see related publications in right-hand menu).