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Radiation ring found around Earth by NASA

The new discovery by the Van Allen probe mission is the third transient radiation ring found that encompasses our planet.

Particle ringEnlarge
A radiation ring was found around Earth by NASA scientists. The new discovery by the Van Allen probe mission is the third transient radiation ring that encompasses our planet. The first were discovered in 1958. (NASA/Van Allen Probes/Goddard Space Flight Center/Courtesy)

NASA researchers say they've discovered a temporary radiation belt around the Earth.

The new discovery by the Van Allen probe mission is the third transient radiation ring that encompasses our planet.

The ring was found by particle detection instruments on the probe.

It lasted a month, said the Associated Press, but a shockwave from the sun broke it up and it has since disappeared.

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"The fantastic new capabilities and advances in technology in the Van Allen Probes have allowed scientists to see in unprecedented detail how the radiation belts are populated with charged particles and will provide insight on what causes them to change, and how these processes affect the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science, in a statement.

The older rings made up of highly energetic charged particles were discovered way back in 1958, reported Space.com.

They can pose a threat to satellites if they expand.

The new observations by the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope (REPT) instrument were reported in the journal Science

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130228/radiation-ring-found-around-earth-nasa