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Third Van Allen Radiation Belt Makes Appearance around Earth

RATE THIS! +11
Posted in Science on 3rd Mar, 2013 01:27 AM by AlexMuller

When NASA scientists launched twin spacecraft to probe the Van Allen radiation belts last summer, they were expecting to study two rings of high-energy particles circling Earth. Instead they found three, overturning a 50-year-old model of the giant rings’ structure.

 

First discovered in 1958, the Van Allen belts have been thought to comprise two reservoirs of high-speed, electrically charged particles, corralled into separate doughnut-shaped rings by Earth’s magnetic field. The outer ring orbits at a distance of some 10,000–60,000 kilometers above Earth, and encircles an inner band of even more energetic particles, roughly 100–10,000 kilometers above Earth. That’s the configuration the belts were in when James Van Allen first spotted them using satellite data half a century ago, and that’s also the structure that NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes recorded when they began operation on 1 September 2012.

 

But just two days later, telescopes on the probes revealed the emergence of an additional, narrow belt of charged particles sandwiched between the inner ring and a now highly eroded outer ring. “It was so unexpected that we thought there was something wrong with the instrument,” says Daniel Baker, a space physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder.



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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-03-03
+7
This is what I call interesting and has a direct impact on space travel! The belts pose a hazard to satellites, which must protect their sensitive components with adequate shielding if their orbit spends significant time in the radiation belts. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-03-03
+7
Sorry, I am old so when I think of radiation as taught back in the Cold War era, where we did drills in school for possible nuclear attack, I think of hard radiation. The prevenative for it was first, don't get exposed in the first place, and second a shelter with sheets of lead in the walls to block the radiation. It surprises me that the shielding used to protect the astronauts was made of aluminum. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-03-03
+7
This aluminum shielding was apparently effective as it was a very low exposure in space compared to someone who was working with radiation on Earth and much lower than EPA reccomendations for Max exposure. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-09-10
+0
こんにちは私はそうです幸せ私はあなたのウェブサイト、私は本当に Askjeeve のための何か他のもの、関わらずのため 栄誉私は今ここにいますとだけ言いたいです途方もないポストとオールラウンドブログ(私もテーマ/デザインを愛&#12375% Reply


 

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