2hrly gs ch p nasa's van allen probes discover a surprise circling earth
NASA's Van Allen Probes Discover a
Surprise Circling Earth
NASA science spacecraft launches
Researchers wait patiently for months as
instruments on board are turned on
one at a time,
slowly ramped up to full power, and
tested to make sure they work at full
The Van Allen Probes
Launched on Aug. 30, 2012,
To study two giant belts of radiation that
Van Allen belts, were discovered with the first
launches of satellites in 1958 by James Van
Changing the plan
Asked that the Relativistic Electron Proton
Telescope (REPT) be turned on early – just
three days after launch.
In order that Its observations would overlap
with another mission called SAMPEX (Solar,
Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle
Explorer) that was soon going to de-orbit and
re-enter Earth's atmosphere.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
"We started wondering if there was
something wrong with our instruments.
We checked everything, but there was
nothing wrong with them. The third belt
persisted beautifully, day after day, week
after week, for four weeks."
Feb. 28, 2013.
Incorporating this new configuration
into their models of the radiation belts
offers scientists new clues to what
causes the changing shapes of the belts
A region that can sometimes swell
dramatically in response to incoming
energy from the sun, impacting satellites
and spacecraft or pose potential threats
to manned space flight.
The Van Allen Belts
In 1958, discovered Two giant swaths of
radiation surrounding Earth.
But In 2012, observations a 3rd belt appears.
The radiation is shown here in
Credit: NASA/Van Allen
Probes/Goddard Space Flight Center