The Savage Radiation of the Van Allen Belts Is Homegrown

Dick writes about Earth and planetary science for Science magazine.

The Van Allen radiation belts have been zapping unlucky satellites—and puzzling space physicists—ever since they were discovered 6 decades ago. Now, at last, researchers have figured out where the electrons that fill the Van Allen belts get their killer energy: They are being accelerated within the Van Allen belts themselves. The new explanation should help researchers better forecast onslaughts of Van Allen radiation, allowing satellite operators to minimize disruptions.

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Posted in Space, Physics