Thursday, 28 February 2013

New, Temporary Earth Radiation Belt Found

Date: 28 February 2013 Time: 02:01 PM ET
NASA discovers extra radiation ring around Earth by Van Allen Probes.
Two giant swaths of radiation, known as the Van Allen Belts, surrounding Earth were discovered in 1958. In 2012, observations from the Van Allen Probes showed that a third belt can sometimes appear. The radiation is shown here in yellow, with green representing the spaces between the belts.
CREDIT: NASA/Van Allen Probes/Goddard Space Flight Center
A ring of radiation previously unknown to science fleetingly surrounded Earth last year before being virtually annihilated by a powerful interplanetary shock wave, scientists say.

NASA's twin Van Allen space probes, which are studying the Earth's radiation belts, made the cosmic find. The surprising discovery — a new, albeit temporary, radiation belt around Earth — reveals how much remains unknown about outer space, even those regions closest to the planet, researchers added.

After humanity began exploring space, the first major find made there were the Van Allen radiation belts, zones of magnetically trapped, highly energetic charged particles first discovered in 1958.

"They were something we thought we mostly understood by now, the first discovery of the Space Age," said lead study author Daniel Baker, a space scientist at the University of Colorado.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/20004-earth-radiation-belt-discovery.html

Source: Space.com .

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