Tag Archives: geomagnetic storms

Storm-chasing Spacecraft

A U-led experiment flies on a NASA mission to Earth’s radiation belts

The story goes that when Earth’s Van Allen Radiation Belts were first discovered, scientists were so amazed by the intensity of radiation, they thought they’d stumbled onto a Soviet nuclear test.

But they soon discovered that Earth is girdled by two concentric, doughnut-shaped regions of space, churning with radiation from protons, electrons, and other charged subatomic particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field. (more…)

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UCLA Astronomers Solve Mystery of Vanishing Electrons

*Findings further efforts to better predict geomagnetic storms in space*

UCLA researchers have explained the puzzling disappearing act of energetic electrons in Earth’s outer radiation belt, using data collected from a fleet of orbiting spacecraft.

In a paper published Jan. 29 in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Physics, the team shows that the missing electrons are swept away from the planet by a tide of solar wind particles during periods of heightened solar activity. (more…)

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