Fr.: reconnexion magnétique
In a → plasma, a change of → magnetic connectivity of plasma elements due to the presence of a localized → diffusion region. It allows charged particles to move from one → magnetic field line to another. Magnetic reconnection is an important process transforming magnetic energy into heat or/and kinetic energy. Magnetic reconnection events occur in the Earth's → magnetosphere. The process plays an important role in explosive phenomena in the Sun, such as → coronal mass ejections and → solar flares which heat the → solar corona.