A Natural Particle Accelerator, Far Above the Planet

13:16 minutes

In 1958, James Van Allen described two belts of radiation that surround Earth. Daniel Baker says that when a satellite was launched to study the belts in 2012, it saw a third belt form, which lasted for about a month before being blasted away by an interplanetary shock wave.

Segment Guests

Daniel N. Baker

Daniel N. Baker is director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.