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back to article NASA Van Allen probes discover PARTICLE HURRICANES

Space boffins having a poke around in the Van Allen Radiation Belts - two concentric rings encircling the Earth in which large numbers of high-energy charged particles are dashing around - have confirmed a theory about how the particles are accelerated to ultra-high energies. Since the Van Allen belts were first discovered, …

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Excellent work

I'm not quite sure how this improves our chances of avoiding crashing into a burst of charged particles as we leave the Earth, but I think it helps.

Thumbs up.

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Happy

Re: Excellent work

The viewers at home will be able to watch an accurate simulation of the spacecraft as it makes its journey!

I'm sure the model will be extrapolated on to show the most gruesome fates for the crew should the shielding fail. After hours of watching breathlessly we'll learn it all went well though and the pilots new arm allows him to give other crew members more down time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent work

There's a number of 'mini-magnetosphere' related spaceship projects out there, some for propulsion, some for particle deflection. As some of them are being considered as protection from solar flares, they should do an excellent job of protecting craft travelling through the van Allen belts. Also, y'know, "shields up" becomes a legitimate bit of spaceflight jargon, not just sci-fi.

The brute force approach would be to simply throw up a bunch of nice big electrodynamic tethers; should dissipate the particle clouds, given enough time. Course, that would likely spoil the Aurorae, and might have other side effects...

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Re: Excellent work

I was thinking much the same thing about magnetically shielded spacecraft. Beats making the bloody things out of metal thick enough to rival WWII battleships to shield against radiation and even induced radiation from particles striking the metal.

If an EM component that isn't a simple relatively static magnetic field can add to the protection, that makes the entire thing far more likely to be practical and less expensive in terms of mass.

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Happy

Re: Excellent work

Wzrd1,

Ah but there's an advantage to the battleship armour thickness spaceship walls. It gives us a perfect excuse to go for the 'Project Orion' approach to spaceflight. Then we can get pretty much anything we want up there, and deal with nuclear proliferation, by 'recycling' old warheads.

Caveat: Now I like development as much as the next man. And I hate Nimbyism. However, on this particular occasion, I really must protest about the idea of Project Orion being launched anywhere near my house. I get these terrible headaches you see, and the last thing I want is something making them worse...

I can't decide between a smiley face and a big explosion icon. But I think I'll go for the smiley face, because big explosions are fun. When they're not happening to you.

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FAIL

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

You asshat. 'Hurricanes' happen in plenty of other places, they are just called typhoons or cyclones in those places.

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/cyclone.html

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Pint

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

amanfrommars? That you?

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Happy

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

amanfrommars had to leave hurriedly for home when news reached him of a ruddy great rover vehicle drilling in his back garden ... :)

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FAIL

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

Borat? That you?

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Facepalm

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

I feel dumber for reading this comment.

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Stop

Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

I don't think it's amanfrommars. Dispite him being a couple of martians short of an invasion, his posts tended to have a stream (a particle stream?) of conscience type thing going on... This is just STOOPIDSHOUTY. If it were a Microsoft related article or had the words ELECTROMAGNETIC FAIL! At the end then we'd pretty much know exactly who it was...

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Re: NOT CO2, THEN WHAT?

re amanfromMars - you did mean a stream of conscience type thing didn't you? Good spot. Someone else might have said C of acronyms.

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Anonymous Coward

<pedantic>

Quote "Now NASA's twin space probes have beamed back research showing ..."

Now, last time I checked 'research' is something that was performed by people, I think that the twin probes may have beamed back 'results' ...?

</pedantic>

G.

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or 'data'...?

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