Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Van Allen probes capture how Earth's radiation belts respond to giant solar storm

RATE THIS! +24
Posted in Science on 22nd Aug, 2016 06:30 PM by AlexMuller

A rare space weather event of the kind that could damage future satellite-dependent technology such as power grids and communications occurred at just the right moment on Mar, 17, 2015, according to a paper by NASA scientists published in Geophysical Research.

 

The NASA-produced video below helps explain what they learned when one of their twin Van Allen research probes passed through a shockwave from a Coronal Mass Ejection (an explosion of solar matter from the sun).

 
Scientists still have much to learn about the Van Allen radiation belts, which were first discovered in the 1950's. The belts are enormous, donut-shaped rings of charged particles that circle magnetized planets like Earth. They contain particularly dangerous forms of radiation, held in place by the magnetic field surrounding the planet, and swell and shrink in response to changing conditions in space.
 
This activity may play a role in protecting the Earth's inner atmosphere from radiation, but it also poses a threat to astronauts and spacecraft that orbit within the belts.
 
Understanding how the belts work is becoming more important as the world becomes more dependent on satellite technology. That's why, in August 2012, NASA launched two Van Allen probes into Earth orbit.
 
The effects of interplanetary shocks tend to be highly localized. If an astronaut or a spacecraft is not in exactly the right place when it happens, it may not register the event at all. Luckily, in this case the Van Allen probe was in exactly the right place. The March 2015 storm was the most dramatic event of its type in the last decade.
 
As the shockwave slammed into the outer radiation belt, the probe recorded a sudden pulse of electrons energized to extreme speeds, nearly as fast as the speed of light. The pulse of electrons was so short-lived that their energy dissipated within minutes. But the electrons left behind a very dynamic environment within the Van Allen belts, with electromagnetic waves lingering for days.
 
Five days later, long after other effects of the storm had died down, the probes detected an increased number of electrons energized to even higher levels. Having such a big increase so much later demonstrates the unique energization processes following the storm. Electrons moving at this speed can knock out circuitry and badly damage living tissue.

Tags: spaceEarthresearchsatelliteVan Allen

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Hardware on 2017-03-29 09:24:33
    ExoMars: Mars Rover scientists to study Mawrth Vallis.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-03-29 09:20:25
    AI to dominate banking, says report..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-03-29 09:15:30
    Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-03-29 09:08:41
    SpaceX launch of private citizens on a lunar orbiting.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-03-28 14:55:07
    Bots shift towards AI and garner $24 billion of investment..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Daily consumption of tea protects the elderly from cognitive.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Unproven stem cell 'therapy' blinds three patients at Florida.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me