Latest Radiation Belt Storm Probes Stories
NASA's twin Van Allen Probes will celebrate on Saturday two years of studying the sun's influence on our planet and near-Earth space. The probes, shortly after launch in August 2012, discovered a third radiation belt around Earth when only two had previously been detected.
NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes entered their second year of service Friday having already provided a wealth of new information about the layers of energetic charged particles located above our planet.
Scientists have long believed that the Van Allen radiation belts, discovered in the Earth’s upper atmosphere in 1958, consisted of two doughnut-shaped rings of highly charged particles. The inner ring is comprised of high-energy electrons and energetic positive ions, and the outer ring of high-energy electrons.
An instrument that will measure the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere has been integrated into NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. MAVEN has a scheduled launch date of Nov. 18.
The Van Allen Belts surrounding Earth were thought to be just two giant swaths of radiation, first discovered in 1958. More than a half-century later, NASA launched twin Van Allen Probes (August 30, 2012) to create a detailed map of the region and catalogue a variety of energies and particles in these radiation belts.
NASA announced the renaming of a recently launched mission to study the radiation belts to the Van Allen Probes in honor of the late James Van Allen, head of the physics department at the University of Iowa.
- totally perplexed and mixed up.