01 Mar '13, 10pm

NASA: “We’ve discovered a previously unknown surprise circling Earth” [VIDEO]

NASA: “We’ve discovered a previously unknown surprise circling Earth” [VIDEO]

Calling the discovery a “lucky one” and “entirely unexpected”, NASA planetary scientists have announced their discovery of an ephemeral (transient) third ring of radiation surrounding our planet. The new radiation band is actually a torus -shaped ring, and was detected by a pair of space probes — the Van Allen probes (named after the astronomer that first discovered the radiation belts) — carrying an instrument called the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT). Following a request by planetary scientist Daniel Baker to activate the instrument earlier than scheduled (to compare its data with the SAMPEX probe’s data), the telescope almost immediately began detecting high energy particles trapped in the two known Van Allen belts. However, what caught the scientists by surprise was that, over the course of several days, those particles began to settle into a never befor...

Full article: http://planetsave.com/2013/03/01/nasa-weve-discovered-a-p...

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