Science: NASA Scientists Make Magnetic Fields Visible, Beautiful
This is an appalling write up from Gizmodo.
The film in question was made by an experimental art / animation duo on the ACE International Fellowship for Art and Space Science at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab in June, 2005. Not, as Gizmodo says, by NASA scientists.
Here's the site of the animation duo, who are pretty fantastic. http://www.semiconductorfilms.com/.
The film - 'Magnetic Movie' - was co-commissioned by Channel 4 and the Arts Council, under the 'Animate! Projects' banner, that's consistently produced some of the most interesting animation in the UK over the last 15 years or so.
Magnetic Movie from Semiconductor on Vimeo.
They work, from what I understand, using the open source visualisation language, Processing, and have contributed to Casey Reas' book on Processing. Not bad, for artists, really. It's not all paint and gitaines, these days.
I'm most depressed by the peanut gallery in the comments who are distressed that it's 'fake'. Well, yes, but no more so than any other diagram or visualisation in any science text book, frankly. It's a way of making the invisible visible.
See more of Semiconductor's excellent work on their site.