On Sept. 12, Van Allen Probes spacecraft A became the first APL-built spacecraft to be tested on the Lab's new spin table. It underwent both a spin balance and mass properties test, two procedures that are done in concert, and in order, as they are intimately linked.
Every second, a million tons of energized matter blasts off from the surface of Sun. Where does this "solar wind" go? Follow the speedy voyage of some protons, electrons and ions as they make a magnetic connection with Earth – becoming trapped in the Van Allen radiation belts that surround our planet. As they bounce, drift and spiral through the belts, some particles will shoot down Earth's long magnetic tail, while others spin back to the upper reaches of the magnetic field and spark the auroras – the amazing celestial light show we know as the northern (or southern) lights. Earth can be a crazy, magnetic place – watch this video to see how!
Posted on NASA.gov Monday, February 09, 2009 12:42 PM
NASA EDGE, an award-winning talk show known for offbeat, funny and informative behind-the-scene stories about the space agency, features Van Allen Probes Deputy Project Scientist, Dr. Nicola "Nicky" Fox explaining magnetic storms and their effect on Earth.
We all live in the atmosphere of the sun and feel the effects of solar variability every day. Earth's near-space environment is a dynamic region that is directly affected by solar variation. There is more than meets the eye when looking into Earth's dynamic space. View this video to learn more about space weather, the magnetosphere the aurora and the Polar mission and spacecraft.
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