Author Topic: Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought  (Read 226 times)

Offline Obviousman

  • Earth
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:58:17 AM »
I thought this might best go here. Please relocate if inappropriate.

More than five decades ago, scientists discovered that our planet is surrounded by two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles, most of which originated as solar wind and got trapped in our magnetic field.

It's long been assumed that these seething regions of radiation are too dangerous for spacecraft to explore for extended periods of time, but NASA just made an unexpected discovery - the fastest, most energetic particles in the inner radiation belt are usually not even there.

Known as the Van Allen Belts, these regions of charged particles work together with Earth's magnetic field to protect us from the harsh radiation of the Sun, and tend to shrink and swell in response to how much solar wind is being blasted in our direction.

The inner belt generally stretches from around 640 to 9,600 km (400 to 6,000 miles) above Earth's surface, while the outer belt occupies an altitude of roughly 13,500 to 58,000 km (8,400 to 36,000 miles), but there is evidence that a third, temporary belt can sometimes appear.

Between the two belts is a recently discovered 'slot region', thought to be mostly devoid of particles, except at times of severe solar activity.

Back in 2012, NASA launched two Van Allen Probes to work in tandem with each other as they whiz through the radiation belts at speeds of around 3,200 km/h (2,000 mph).

The latest observations from these probes has revealed something no one was expecting - the most dangerous components of the inner Van Allen Belt, the fastest, highest-energy electrons, are more often than not entirely absent.


Read more at: http://www.sciencealert.com/earth-s-inner-radiation-belt-is-far-weaker-than-we-thought-and-it-s-got-nasa-very-excited

Offline smartcooky

  • Saturn
  • ****
  • Posts: 1344
Re: Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 08:52:04 PM »
Well that is going to put a rather large dent in the HB's "the astronauts would have died in a searing radiation hell" theory!!
► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
►"Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline Al Johnston

  • Earth
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
Re: Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 06:50:43 AM »
Or make it worse: now it's a Homeopathic searing radiation hell...
"Cheer up!" they said. "It could be worse!" they said.
So I did.
And it was.

Offline bknight

  • Uranus
  • ****
  • Posts: 2085
Re: Earth's Inner Radiation Belt Is Far Weaker Than We Thought
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 04:20:52 PM »
Well that is going to put a rather large dent in the HB's "the astronauts would have died in a searing radiation hell" theory!!

Like they are going to believe any evidence that destroys their ignorant belief.  They'll just continue to ignore and chant the mantra
Radiation is bad
Space has radiation
therefore Space is bad. ::)

Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan