March 4, 2013

New Discovery: Earth Has 3rd Radiation Belt

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.

 The giant amounts of radiation the Van Allen belts generate can pose serious risks for satellites.

Unexpectedly, the probes revealed a new radiation belt surrounding Earth, a third one made of super-high-energy electrons embedded in the outer Van Allen belt about 11,900 to 13,900 miles (19,100 to 22,300 kilometers) above the planet's surface. This stable ring of space radiation apparently formed on Sept. 2 and lasted for more than four weeks. Read more



  1. Interesting, but is it all to be believed.
    Ive heard stories of just how much radiation there is in said belts, and what would be needed to shield from it even for a few minutes.
    From what I understand not a single Apollo mission had appropriate shielding. Only the shuttles had, and they didn't tend to go That far out to the radiation.

    Things that make you go Hmmmmm...

    1. I think about that a lot, too. Makes you wonder.

    2. Thanks a lot Nate Onyx Blogger is being very temper-mental at the momentRadiation badge.
      I can't seem to respond to comments or edit