The belt of high-energy electrons that normally cradles Earth from afar was greatly enhanced and pushed unusually close to our atmosphere during the violent solar activity that occurred in late October, University of Colorado at Boulder researchers say.
The results were obtained from observations by NASAs Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer, or SAMPEX satellite, said CU-Boulders Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics Director Daniel Baker. An investigator on SAMPEX, Baker will present results from the data and the Halloween solar storm at the fall American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco Dec. 8 to Dec. 12.
The radiation belts, also known as the Van Allen Belts, are named after their discoverer, James Van Allen. "The outer Van Allen Belt is often rather tame and is made up of modest intensities of energetic electrons," said Baker.
Daniel Baker | EurekAlert!
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