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NASA Discovers New Radiation Belt Around Earth

After humanity began exploring space, the first major find made there were the Van Allen radiation belts, zones of magnetically trapped, highly energetic charged particles first discovered in 1958.

These belts were believed to consist of two rings: an inner zone made up of both high-energy electrons and very energetic positive ions that remains stable in intensity over the course of years to decades; and an outer zone comprised mostly of high-energy electrons whose intensity swings over the course of hours to days depending primarily on the influence from the solar wind, the flood of radiation streaming from the sun.

The discovery of a temporary new radiation belt now has scientists reviewing the Van Allen radiation belt models to understand how it occurred.