However, I realized it was related to something else... The image in question was this image of a "reconnection region"
(3D model of "reconnection region"; again, keeping in mind that "reconnection" appears to be bogus, so we should consider what EXACTLY it is they're seeing...?)
I realized that it mimicked Alfven's solar circuit diagram pretty closely!
(Alfven's solar circuit diagram)
Then I realized (from discussions on the "Magnetism: Form, structure, dynamics" and another thread I can't recall the title of) that it also mimics the behavior of plasma experiments on the ISS (the "plasmakristall" or "PKE Nefedov" experiments).
(Features of a complex plasma [in microgravity] (3 seconds superposition of particle trajectories))
and certain magnetic structures
So, I guess the question is what's REALLY going on in that "reconnection region." Seems the researchers were wondering that too!
(Cluster hits the magnetic bull’s-eye)
Seems they don't have a clue what their own model is supposed to do? How... Odd!ESA's spacecraft constellation Cluster has hit the magnetic bull's-eye. The four spacecraft surrounded a region within which the Earth’s magnetic field was spontaneously reconfiguring itself.
The null point exists in an unexpected vortex structure about 500 kilometres across. "This characteristic size has never been reported before in observations, theory or simulations," say Xiao, Pu and Wang.
Having identified one null point in three dimensions, the team now hopes to score future bull’s-eyes to compare nulls and see whether their first detection possessed a configuration that is rare or common.
Perhaps if they actually worked with plasmas in the lab, rather than re-inventing the wheel... Ahh well, c'est la vie!
Anyway, right now I'm interested in the relationship between the diagram of the "reconnection region" and the Alfven diagram of the sun. They seem to share some common features. It seems to me that both diagrams have something coming in at both poles, and leaving along the equator. In the sun's case it's the solar wind leaving along the equator. What of the "reconnection region?" Are we simply seeing something like a "pinch" and/or "plasmoid" that is short lived, and attendant magnetic fields with relation to that? Or is something else going on?