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New Radiation Belt Discovered Around Earth

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New Radiation Belt Discovered Around Earth

NASA's Van Allen Probes mission has discovered a previously unknown third radiation belt around Earth, revealing the existence of unexpected structures and processes within these hazardous regions of space.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228155430.htm

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Previously Undetected Radiation Belt Revealed

Since their discovery over 50 years ago, the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts have been considered to consist of two distinct zones of trapped, highly energetic charged particles. Observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes reveal an isolated third ring in the outer radiation belt.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Is there any possibility that the 3th radioactive belt is man made, buy secret nuclear testing above the earth atmosphere?

Its kind a strange that its took so long to find a 3th radioactive belt and there were so many space flights with instruments on board.

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Is there any possibility that the 3th radioactive belt is man made, buy secret nuclear testing above the earth atmosphere?

None, you couldn't keep a nuclear detonation in low Earth orbit secret.

Its kind a strange that its took so long to find a 3th radioactive belt and there were so many space flights with instruments on board.

Why is it strange?

Most satellites travel below or above the radiation belts to avoid the problems that long exposure to radiation would cause, so there is still a lot not known about this region of space.

The article also points out that this third belt was a transient event:

Scientists observed the third belt for four weeks before a powerful interplanetary shock wave from the sun annihilated it.

If we assume this is not a one off event then the factr that this belt is so short lived means that it should not be surprising that it has been missed before.

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None, you couldn't keep a nuclear detonation in low Earth orbit secret.

Why is it strange?

Most satellites travel below or above the radiation belts to avoid the problems that long exposure to radiation would cause, so there is still a lot not known about this region of space.

The article also points out that this third belt was a transient event:

If we assume this is not a one off event then the factr that this belt is so short lived means that it should not be surprising that it has been missed before.

Sounds like it showed up just in time to protect us from that radiaton shot.

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Sounds like it showed up just in time to protect us from that radiaton shot.

The radiation belts aren't what protect us but are a result of the process that does. We are protected by the Earth's magnetic field which traps radioactive particles. It is these trapped particles whichcause the Van Allen belts.

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