Tag Archives: vassilis angelopoulos

How did a third radiation belt appear in the Earth’s upper atmosphere?

Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts in in the Earth’s upper atmosphere in 1958, space scientists have believed that these belts consisted of two doughnut-shaped rings of highly charged particles — an inner ring of high-energy electrons and energetic positive ions, and an outer ring of high-energy electrons.

However, in February of this year, a team of scientists reported in the journal Science the surprising discovery of a previously unknown third radiation ring. This narrow ring had briefly circled the Earth between the inner and outer rings in September 2012 and then almost completely disappeared.

How did this temporary radiation belt appear and dissipate? (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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Spacecraft will Enable Scientists to Study Space Environment around Moon, Earth

Two spacecraft are now beginning to study the moon’s environment as part of NASA’s ARTEMIS mission, whose principal investigator is Vassilis Angelopoulos, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences.

One of these satellites has been in the lunar environment since Aug. 25, and the second arrived Oct. 22, marking the start of the ARTEMIS mission to gather new scientific data in the sun-Earth-moon environment.

 

About the image: An artist’s rendering of the two ARTEMIS spacecraft in the lunar environment. Image credit: NASA/SVS (more…)

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