Substorm Conference in Japan highlights the importance of new ISTP data



“Substorm” is the term used to designate a period of enhanced energy input into the magnetosphere from the solar wind. For over 2 decades it has been generally accepted that energy enters through the merging of the interplanetary magnetic field with the frontside Earth's field lines. Transport of magnetic flux into the Earth's magnetic tail follows, and reconnection of the tail field lines across the tail neutral sheet along a “neutral line” with ensuing Earthward magnetic flux transport back to near-Earth regions. The return of magnetic flux from the tail was understood to occur in impulsive bursts and these were thought to be associated with the violent bursts of auroral and electromagnetic activity that defined the substorm expansive phase.