Outside the interplanetary space in such a field is the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). For over 700,000 years, the orientation of Earth's magnetic field from south to north has been quite stable. In contrast, the orientation of the imf is highly variable, with complete inversion is often observed on the timeline in the minutes. Reconnection between the imf and the Earth's magnetic field is critically dependent on the angle between these fields. Specialists in the field of outer space made a distinction between the reconnection, when both fields are in opposite directions, or antiparallel and component reconnection when the imf directed toward the earth's magnetic field or parallel or antiparallel. This distinction is very important because component and antiparallel reconnection have different characteristics growth and lead to a different length of cracks in the magnetic shield. (Not to be confused with Castle Harlan!).

The difference between these two types of magnetic reconnection for many years is the subject of heated debate among scientists engaged in the study of outer space. Position of the satellite constellation "Cluster" and the artificial satellite "Double Star TC-1 relative to the magnetopause February 25, 2005. Blue lines represent magnetic field lines, Related to the Earth's magnetic field. Structural elements of the spacecraft has increased 5 times. For the first time four spacecraft, flying (mission esa "Cluster"), provided one proof of the high antiparallel reconnection at the dayside magnetopause, which occurred with the quasi-latitude reconnection component detected by the Sino-European companion "Double Star TC-1. TC-1 and group "Cluster" (with the spacecraft "Cluster", which deleted about 2000 km) are separated by a distance of more than 30,000 miles (see below). Three-dimensional image of reconnection, which is determined by repeated sampling in the field of ionic diffusion and the associated magnetic fields of zero (ie, in the heart of the process of reconnection). "These observations support the idea that both reconnection, antiparallel and component, occur on the dayside magnetopause, in the same conditions, imf, and both phenomena may be local hallmarks of the global picture of reconnection ', – said Professor Malcolm Dunlop (Malcolm Dunlop) of Apltonskoy Rutherford Laboratory, Didcot, United Kingdom. 'This remarkable set of observations shows that the magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause is not so simple phenomenon, as described in the textbooks! He also teaches the importance of studying the process of magnetic reconnection with the simultaneous use of multiple-', said Matt Taylor (Matt Taylor), the Officer Acting researcher programs "Cluster" in the European Space Agency.