So says a NASA press release dated July 24
of this year: "We discovered what makes the Northern Lights dance," said
Dr. Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles. Angelopoulos
is the principal investigator for the Time History of Events and Macroscale
Interactions during Substorms mission, or THEMIS.
Many people today agree that
the substorm problem has indeed been solved. The problem is that they don’t
all agree on the solution. In this journal club I will discuss substorms for
the uninitiated, describe some of the theories for substorm onsets, and discuss
some of the conclusions the people are drawing from recent observations. In
addition I will present some of my own observations of substorm phenomena.
I will attempt to show that while we are getting much closer, we really have
not yet solved the problem.