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Title: A long-lived relativistic electron storage ring embedded in Earth's Outer Van Allen belt

Since their discovery over 50 years ago, the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts are thought to consist of two distinct zones of trapped, highly energetic charged particles. The outer zone is comprised predominantly of mega-electron volt (MeV) electrons that wax and wane in intensity on time scales ranging from hours to days depending primarily on external forcing by the solar wind. Thus, the spatially separated inner zone is comprised of commingled high-energy electrons and very energetic positive ions (mostly protons), the latter being stable in intensity levels over years to decades. In situ energy-specific and temporally resolved spacecraft observations reveal an isolated third ring, or torus, of high-energy (E > 2 MeV) electrons that formed on 2 September 2012 and persisted largely unchanged in the geocentric radial range of 3.0 to ~3.5 Earth radii for over four weeks before being disrupted (and virtually annihilated) by a powerful interplanetary shock wave passage.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [3] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  5. Southwest Research Inst. (SwRI), San Antonio, TX (United States)
  6. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
  7. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  8. Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States)
  9. The Aerospace Corperation, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1221156
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--15-20091
Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 340; Journal Issue: 6129; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES