A breakthrough by a team of British, US and French scientists will help protect astronauts, spacecraft and satellites from radiation hazards experienced in space.
Reporting in the journal Nature this week, the team describe how their study of rare and unusual space storms provided a unique opportunity to test conflicting theories about the behaviour of high energy particles in the Van Allen radiation belts* - a volatile region 12000 miles (19,000 km) above the Earth.
Lead author, Dr Richard Horne of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says: “Solar storms can increase radiation in the Van Allen belts to levels that pose a threat to spacecraft. As modern society relies increasingly on satellites for business, communications, and security, it is important to understand the environment that spacecraft operate in so that we can help protect our space investment.
Amanda Lynnes | alfa
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