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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:43

Article: Van Allen Probes Discovers a New Radiation Belt. Featured

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Article: Van Allen Probes Discovers a New Radiation Belt.

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


A team of scientists from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), NASA’s Goddard space flight center, Md.; Los Alamos national laboratory in Alamos and the institute for the study of the earth, ocean, and space at the university of new hemisphere have discovered a new belt of radiation. The scientists were working on the previsions van Allen probes/radiation belt storm probes, which was designed to help scientist understand the influence of radiations on earth. This are the second mission in NASA’s living with star program that explores how the sun-earth system affects the human life and society. Goddard was in charge of the program while the applied physics laboratory was in charge of building the spacecraft that manages the program. The discovery of the new radiation was made by a particle sensor, the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT) instrument, Composition, and Thermal Plasma Suite (ECT).

 The scientist discovered the existence of a third transient belt of radiation. The third layer of radiation ads up to the existing two belts of radiations that were earlier discovered in the 1950’s. The earlier discovery had reported the existence of two distinct radiation belts that were referred to as the inner and the outer radiation belt. The third belt was observed for four consecutive days before it was annihilated by a strong interplanetary shock wave from the sun. According to the researchers, despite the fact that these radiations had in effect on the lives of human being in the earlier years, they are very crucial today. The radiations are important in the modern high technology society. The modern satellites that are used in weather stations, GPS and television can easily interact with the radiation causing short circuiting. The researcher indicates that the knowledge of the radiation will help in controlling their storms thereby saving electronics from the possible damage.

 Radiations from the earth’s magnet field are very important in different fields. They cause motion in electrical charges such as the magnetic field in a magnet bar. These important magnetic fields captures solar winds and prevent them from entering the earth surface. A group of scientist believes that the neighboring planet of mars was blown dry by these solar winds. Continued research in this field will help answer the controversy or shed more light on their claim. The study of magnetic fields is also relevant in controlling airspace and navigation. Modern transport in air, ocean and space depends heavily on satellite information. Telecommunication sector is also highly dependent on high frequency radiations.   

The knowledge about the earth’s magnetic field has also fascinated my life. I believed that the magnetic field is one single layer of magnetic field that covers the planetary earth. It is informing for me to learn that there are actually three layers of radiations that surround the earth. Their role in protecting the earth from solar winds is also a new concept to me. However, the increasing knowledge in this field will help the science world to understand further the magnetic fields. This knowledge will help in devising satellites and high frequency radiation equipments that can withstand interruptions from these belts of radiations.


Last modified on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:53
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