New Radiation Ring Spotted in Van Allen Belt

New Radiation Ring Spotted in Van Allen Belt

Feb 28, 2013

A previously unseen ring of radiation formed within the Earth’s Van Allen belt in September of 2012 and then vanished a month later. That is the finding of a team of researchers in the US, which analysed the first data available from the twin spacecraft of NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission. The anomalous ring – made up of high-energy electrons – stayed largely unchanged, until it was disrupted and “virtually annihilated” by a powerful interplanetary shock wave. The new findings show how we need a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the Van Allen belts.   …more

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