Latest Van Allen radiation belt Stories

2010-09-21 11:10:00

Satellites are big. They cost a lot of money. At least that's the impression a couple of University of Maryland-College Park students had when they applied for an internship to help construct a satellite instrument with scientists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. As the pair quickly discovered, nothing could have been farther from the truth. To their astonishment, the satellite that Saman Kholdebarin and Lida Ramsey helped to develop was literally the size of a...

2010-09-03 09:50:00

Cluster has spent a decade revealing previously hidden interactions between the Sun and Earth. Its studies have uncovered secrets of the aurora, solar storms, and given us insight into fundamental processes that occur across the Universe. And there is more work to do. The aurora, those dancing lights in the polar skies, are but the visible manifestation of an invisible battle taking place above our heads. Supersonic particles from the Sun collide with our planet's magnetic field every...

2010-07-13 07:28:42

NASA's Juno spacecraft will be forging ahead into a treacherous environment at Jupiter with more radiation than any other place NASA has ever sent a spacecraft, except the sun. In a specially filtered cleanroom in Denver, where Juno is being assembled, engineers recently added a unique protective shield around its sensitive electronics. New pictures of the assembly were released today. "Juno is basically an armored tank going to Jupiter," said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator,...

2010-07-06 07:20:55

Prize For Excellence In Public Engagement With Planetary Science The first Europlanet prize for excellence in public engagement with planetary science has been awarded to Dr Jean Lilensten of the Laboratoire de Plan©tologie de Grenoble. For more than 10 years, Dr Lilensten has worked to share the magic of planetary aurorae with school children and members of the public across Europe, using his "Ëœplaneterrella' experiment. Dr Thierry Fouchet, Outreach Coordinator for...

2010-04-14 08:22:40

A lightning researcher at the University of Bath has discovered that during thunderstorms, giant natural particle accelerators can form 40 km above the surface of the Earth. On Wednesday April 14th Dr. Martin Fullekrug will present his new work at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2010) in Glasgow. When particularly intense lightning discharges in thunderstorms coincide with high-energy particles coming in from space (cosmic rays), nature provides the right conditions to form a giant...

2010-03-11 08:20:00

Take a bunch of fast-moving electrons, place them in orbit and then hit them with the shock waves from a solar storm. What do you get? Killer electrons. That's the shocking recipe revealed by ESA's Cluster mission. Killer electrons are highly energetic particles trapped in Earth's outer radiation belt, which extends from 12 000 km to 64 000 km above the planet's surface. During solar storms their number grows at least ten times and they can be dislodged, posing a threat to satellites. As the...

2010-01-30 07:30:00

High-energy bursts of gamma rays typically occur far out in space, perhaps near black holes or other high-energy cosmic phenomena. So imagine scientists' surprise in the mid-1990s when they found these powerful gamma ray flashes happening right here on Earth, in the skies overhead. They're called Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes, or TGFs, and very little is known about them. They seem to have a connection with lightning, but TGFs themselves are something entirely different. "In fact," says Doug...

2009-09-14 06:28:01

Scientists using the Cassini spacecraft's  Magnetospheric Imaging instrument (MIMI) have detected a new, temporary radiation belt  at Saturn, located around the orbit of its moon Dione at about 377 000 km from the center of the planet. The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr Elias Roussos on Monday September 14. Radiation belts, like Earth's Van Allen belts, have been discovered at Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. ...

2009-05-08 12:30:00

GREENBELT, Md., May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists using NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft have discovered how radio waves produced by electrons injected into Earth's near-space environment both generate and remove high-speed "killer" electrons. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Killer electrons are born within Earth's natural radiation belts, called the Van Allen belts after their discoverer, James Van Allen. Killer electrons are mostly found in the...

2009-01-19 09:55:00

It's dangerous to remain too long inside the radiation belts of Jupiter. The high-energy particles can damage space probes, and they also can destroy biological molecules or other signatures of life that might exist on inner moons like Europa. A new study plans to determine just how hazardous an impact the radiation belts have on the Jovian system. "Our goal is to find some areas that might be interesting for a future mission to explore," says Wes Patterson of Johns Hopkins University's...

Latest Van Allen radiation belt Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Van Allen Radiation Belt -- The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The presence of a radiation belt had been theorized prior to the Space Age and the belt's presence was confirmed by the Explorer I on January 31, 1958 and Explorer III missions, under Doctor James Van Allen. The trapped radiation was first mapped out by Explorer IV and Pioneer III. Qualitatively, it is useful to view this belt as consisting...

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