Remember that third Van Allen radiation belt that appeared in February and lasted for about a month? Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, have started to understand what it really was – a belt composed solely of electrons moving at almost light-speed – and why it occurred – because of a massive solar flare in September, 2012. Although these faster electrons aren’t unique, as they appear in the two original Van Allen belts as well, what scientists have to figure out now is what accelerates them to such high energies. My story on this development for The Hindu.
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