Japanese Supercomputer Model Overthrows Existing Theory of Auroral Breakup (video) Kyoto University Share Print E-Mail Loading video... Caption A Japanese research team has solved how auroral breakups occur. Hot charged particles, or plasmas, gather in near-Earth space -- just above the upper atmosphere of the polar region -- when magnetic field lines reconnect in space. This makes the plasma rotate, creating a sudden electrical current above the polar regions. Furthermore, an electric current overflows near the bright aurora in the upper atmosphere, making the plasma rotate and discharge the extra electricity. This gives rise to the 'surge,' the very bright sparks of light that characterize substorms. Credit Yusuke Ebihara/Kyoto University Usage Restrictions Please credit Yusuke Ebihara/Kyoto University Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.