Studying Earth's protective radiation belts
This illustration shows the Van Allen radiation belts and the positions of the twin Van Allen probes.
March 9th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

Studying Earth's protective radiation belts

Two regions of radiation encircle the Earth. They’re called the Van Allen belts, and they are a pair of dynamic regions of trapped radiation, separated by a void and held in place by the Earth's magnetic field. They protect the planet from the radiation of space and the effects of solar weather.

We’ve known about these two belts since James Van Allen, the eponymous astronomer, discovered them in 1958. It's important that we know as much as we can about the Van Allen belts and how they change, because most of Earth's satellites live in the region.

Two NASA probes detected a third radiation belt, which disappeared a few weeks later. It appears that solar weather caused its formation, and disappearance.

The Van Allen Probes are the second mission in the Living With a Star program that also includes the Solar Dynamics Observatory (and its mascot, our favorite rubber chicken). Launched in August 2012, the twin spacecraft are built to withstand the harsh conditions of the belts they're studying, and have already started to return interesting data.

The discovery of the third Van Allen belt was recently revealed in a NASA press conference. The probes observed it almost immediately after they were turned on to collect data. The observation was so unexpected that the science team made sure to rule out an instrument malfunction. Just as startling as the discovery of a third belt was the observation of its disappearance four weeks later, in the wake of solar activity.

Dan Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said at the conference that although a third ring has been reported in the past, he believes that this event, referred to as a "storage ring" is "fundamentally different" from previous events.

His colleague Mona Kessel, a Van Allen Probes program scientist, pointed out that we still don't completely understand what's happening in the Van Allen belts: "We're trying to piece this all together right now. stay tuned – we will know more."

But, rest assured, though a whole host of satellites reside in the Van Allen belts, many are capable of being shut down or moved around to protect them from a damaging solar storm headed their way. The astronauts aboard the international space station are also safe: ISS flies below the inner radiation belt.

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Filed under: Discoveries • In Space • the Sun
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    You can't breath in space. No air. Plus space is a vacuum. If you were to go out there you would explode from the presence of the zero pressure vacuum environment. And since space is a vacuum with no air you can't propel a spacecraft. There is nothing for the engine to exert force against to propel it forward.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • MBDK

      Nothing to exert force against? Your ignorance of basic physics is quite telling. A grade school question for you – what is the rocket exhaust pushing against in porder to be expelled at high velocity?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
      • Aeronautical Engineer

        It pushes against air and stuff.

        March 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • MBDK

        Yep. And in space, that stuff would be?

        March 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Mrs Williams

        @MBDK – what is porder? Is that a scientific term the fake astronauts used? Maybe they used "porder" to power their pretend space ships.

        March 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • isit5pmyet

        Mrs Williams,

        Yet another internet troll? ..or same troll, different name? 😉

        You can pick a bit of lint from a car hood to wish away the vehicle (i.e. misdirection), but regardless the car is still there.

        What I am saying is this. I believe "porder" is simply a typo of the word "order". Notice how the p and o are amazingly close to each other on a standard qwerty keyboard. That is reality.. just like real spacecraft both manned and unmanned that have orbited the earth, moon, mars, other planets and made their way out of this solar system. We have photos of all the above. Just open your eyes and you might learn something incredible. Otherwise you are denying such things as GPS and satellite tv which are both available to us from being in the space age.

        March 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • MBDK

        isit5pmyet, amazing how easy it is for someone, such as you, who recognizes the Apollo Moon landings as real, to figure out such a simple thing as my keyboard error. Yet, the MHBs immmediately go off on some wierd, completely unrelated tangent.

        March 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
      • isit5pmyet

        MBDK it is pretty funny..

        ..but misdirection is all too common these days when someone or a group has no ammunition to refute solid facts and events. They look for "chinks in the armor" and in your case, the only thing was a typo.

        March 15, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • MBDK

        "Porder" s a mischevious fat finger hitting two keys at once (of course, the word should have been "order"), and two lacadasical eyes failing to spot the mistake.

        March 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
      • Teach

        As a school teacher if have heard "porder" is indeed used to power space craft. It is similar to the dylithium crystals used in warp drives.

        March 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • MBDK

        Well, I am no teacher, but if I were, I would be more embarrassed by the sentence(?) ""As a school teacher if have heard “porder” is indeed used to power space craft."" My mistake was due to a simple motor skills error. The cause of your errors is much more baffeling.

        March 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  2. Nathan

    Most of those that believe we landed on the moon do so "because they saw it on the television." Those are the same people that believe reality TV shows are real and there really are talking monkeys ala Planet of the Apes. Just because you saw something on the TV doesn't mean it's real. Those that believe we went to the moon need to learn to think.

    March 11, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • isit5pmyet

      No... we believe it because not only is it true, it is common sense. The sheer volumes of technology surrounding the program both in museums and currently being utilized, plus all the scientists, contractors, astronauts, and all the other support programmers, engineers, and other support personnel needed to pull off what you consider a hoax is mind numbing. Much like seeing a huge mountain and deciding it isn't there even if you climb to the top.

      Give it up folks!! Accept reality!! We are in space! ..and sometime soon we will probably sending humans to Mars. 🙂

      March 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • MBDK

      I can see your pants on fire from here.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Dude

      Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. nuff said

      March 13, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Dr. Knowledge

      I agree with Nathan. Please go to the NASA museum and check out the fake props they claim are space vehicles. My 10 year old son can make more realistic equipment.

      March 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • MBDK

        Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....... If you actually have a 10 yeasr old son, I suggest you talk to him so he can explain the reality of the Apollo missions to you.

        March 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • Dr. Knowledge

        You're just jealous of my super high IQ and intelligence. I'm an astrophysicist and micro engineer. All us real scientist know the Apollo missions were faked.

        March 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • MBDK

        You're a liar, but no astrophysicist, and the only thing you have micro-engineered is your manhood.

        March 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  3. Marj

    Everyone always ask how do the thousands of people that worked on the fake Apollo program keep silent? Answer: there weren't thousands. It was just a few dozen actors pretending. Have you or anyone else actually met someone that worked on this program. NO. It isn't some huge coverup. Just a few dozen CIA types and actors play acting.

    March 11, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • MBDK

      "NO. It isn’t some huge coverup" – The ONLY bit of truth in your post.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Dude

      March 13, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • MOCaseA

      My father-in-law worked on the project. He designed many of the electronics and guidance systems used in the mission.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:06 am |
  4. Buck Rogers

    That's truly a superb idea to send me up to the IFS (International Fake Station) in order to try and shut me up. In the words of my personal favorite astro-actor Charlie Duke who flew the tin-foil 'lem' up to the moon, "that'd be fayantastic!"

    Question.... since NASA has shut-down the Shuttle program (same design as the Buran because they were both planned for the same fakes), then how will I get to Baikonur? I understand they've already flown a Canadian clown up to the Fake Station a few years ago, so will i have to visit a hair stylist in order to 'play' inside the IFS sets??

    March 11, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • cybertspaced

      Buck Buck Buck.. you are truly a genius among the trolls of the Internet. I tip my hat and hair-do to you that you have gone so far where few would ever boldly go. lol As far as how do you get to Baikonur? Part of me thinks you are already there wearing your tinfoil hat. ...but really, the place where the Soviets first launched Sputnik? Maybe that would be pretty interesting, but seems the Bahama's would be much nicer.

      Oh well.. keep on creating that goofy content my friend. Heck you could possibly land a job as a writer on Saturday Night Live. lol

      Oh.. one last tidbit before I wrap up concerning your constant cries of totally vaporization at hypersonic. I won't be replying again because I truly believe you are either just pulling my leg or totally a goof wad.

      ..but as I said, another bit of info to show how re-entry is done. The US patent. 🙂

      March 11, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  5. Buck Rogers

    It's a good thing that NASA was able to 'land' the three-foil-thick LEM in the desert back in '69. Otherwise, if they had not faked the moon landing, then sure enough the astros would have fried due to these massive radiation belts, and then burn up like a meteor upon reentry. Thank goodness human 'spaceflight' is indeed a 'demonstration' per the Space Act.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • cybertspaced

      I think you should read this site.

      If you and others still think it a hoax then you probably think Columbus didn't find any land West of Europe and Magellan sailed around his bathtub. Just because man exceeded limits of himself and his technology of the time, don't think it cannot be real. Unless of course you wish to limit your own self. Regardless, the rest of us will do fine no matter what you choose to believe. 🙂

      March 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • Buck Rogers

        Perhaps you should read this site:

        Of course, if you still think that NASA 'landed' on the east-to-west orbiting moon inside the utterly pathetic 'lem' that was literally "held together with staples and scotch tape", then truly, manmade fairy-tales do exist. Better yet, if you still think that NASA was able to reenter at hypersonic 25,000 (or meteoric 35,000 per astro-actor/evolutionist Jack Schmitt), and was 'protected' by "special plastic" in temperatures "10-times hotter than the sun" w/o vaporizing, then indeed, the Nazis behind NASA and the CCCP 'succeeded' what they set out to accomplish; i.e. mass astro-evolutionary brainwashing.

        So when is the Soyuz scheduled for it's next cargo plane drop after it 'detaches' from the International Fake Station orbital satellite?

        March 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • MBDK

        Actually, you should pull your head out of those internet sphincter sites that have had EACH and EVERY point debunked thoroughly. But I suspect that since you have been residing there for so long, the atmosphere has destroyed what little matter you ever had for a brain. Your posts are the evidence for that supposition.

        March 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • cybertspaced

        Blah blah blah.. use your brain for good when you grow up. I for one know when I am being trolled by "children" and when to stop talking to them. Have a nice day. 🙂

        March 11, 2013 at 12:49 am |
      • MBDK

        My reply was supposd to be to Buck Rogers. There is NO doubt we landed on the Moon – as advertised. Fools that promote alternate theories are the ones with cranial-rectal inversion syndrome.

        March 11, 2013 at 1:05 am |
      • cybertspaced

        Ahh.. my apologies. I just knew I was being trolled by Buck Rogers and thought you had joined in the fun. As you said, there is no doubt we landed on the moon and the space program indeed exists. It would take a ton more to fake all that science, technology and the results from them than humanly possible. Especially considering how long we have been in the business. Any other thinking on the subject is either insanity, or just wanting to troll others with their so called "facts". Regardless of which, their banter degrades the achievements and accomplishments of so many brave humans that put their lives on the line for the dream of space travel.

        All the best.

        March 11, 2013 at 7:17 am |
      • cybertspaced

        I wouldn't argue for a minute the hoaxing of people from the government, but usually about power, control and money. However, I am more than willing to chip in $1000 to send you to the ISS and back so you could spend the rest of your days arguing with yourself that which one of you made it back alive without much more than a bump or bruise.

        Great site by the way. ..well, for a comedy spoof of sorts. Perhaps next write about swimming, boats, submarines, automobiles or high speed trains. Humans can't possibly do those either. Right? Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

        March 11, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • dreamer96

      You know a thin layer of gold reflects the radiation and shields the people inside....

      March 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
      • Jim

        I'm sorry but gold does not reflect or repel radiation. NASA chose to use gold tinfoil because it looked fancy.

        March 11, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • dreamer96


        Gold foil is excellent for reflecting visible and infrared radiation....if you want to stop high energy protons and neutrons and gamma rays and x rays you need a lead fly lots of lead on those space craft to Mars...But you still need the gold as part of the heat shield..

        March 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Primewonk

      I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict that Buck is also a creationist, a denier, a birther, and an all-around nutter.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  6. Patrick

    I feel this is scientific nonsense and double talk created by those who wish to bring about a new ice age.

    March 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  7. Truth

    My uncle was in the Air Force at time of Apollo missions. He said it was a coverup and money was actually used to finance the war in Cambodia.

    March 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • dreamer96


      Nixon used the CIA to transport illegal drugs to sell and make the South Vietnam leaders rich...and fund the secret war in Cambodia...they had plenty of money from the illegal drug trade for secret wars....They did not need to take it from the space programs..

      Don't you remember Reagan did the same thing using the CIA to transport and sell illegal drugs to fund the CONTRAS..Reagan even brought them to Arkansas and used the CIA to protect the drug dealer from the FBI and local law enforcement.....

      You can choose to believe the moon landings were fake..but the Soviet Union could see us there...They crashed a space probe on the moon just before we landed men on the moon...the Soviet Union was hoping to claim they beat us to the moon...but the probe crashed so they had no video...

      March 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Using both radio and stereoscopic telescopes scientist have proven there is no lunar lander or flag where the government says it is. If it isn't there, then either we didn't go to the moon or maybe aliens got it. I'm not much believer in little green men, so that means we must of not gone to the moon.

    March 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • MBDK

      If you're trying to be funny, you failed. If you are serious, you REALLY failed. Try again, please.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Dan

      Jeff's post is both intersecting and factual. Sound scientific studies have proven what he states.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
      • MBDK

        I have no idea as to what you think it intersects, but Jeff's post is as emptier of facts as is intergallactic space. Please reference even ONE study that you refer to.

        Hint: You can't, becasue they don't exist.

        March 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  9. wonderman333

    i thought most people by now know already that Armstrong landing on the Moon was actually a hollywood production film. it was not real.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • patriot

      kooky talk. this is not an ideological battle between left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Statism vs liberty, socialism vs free markets. This is ethnic warfare against white people.

      Why are hostile globalist elite supporting Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but turning white majority Europe, North America into a multi-ethnic multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

      Why do gullible Whites kowtow to hostile Jewish elite, who maim White soldiers in bankrupting wars, infiltrate and subvert our central banks and intelligence agencies, indoctrinate us in classrooms and mass media, impose trillions in debt, and plunder our wages?

      East Asia is 99% yellow. Africa is 99% Black. West Asia is 99% Brown. But 3rd world colonizers are annihilating Whites, just as Chinese colonizers are annihilating Tibet. This is the endgame.

      "Native" Americans are not native. They invaded from East Asia. Whites were not the only slave owners, imperialists. Muslims, Jews, China, India, Mayans, Africans all are guilty of slavery, imperialism. Whites were victims of Arab, Jewish, Turk, African, Mongol imperialism, slavery.

      Gullible Whites should reject suicidal anti-White Jewish ideologies like libertarianism, feminism, liberalism, socialism. White people should reject venomous smears of racism, collectivism.

      Love to all, hatred to no one, but White people must unite and organize to advance their families, their fertility, their interests. Reading list:

      March 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Prof Alexander

      Armstrong was only his stage name. Being an actor employed by the US government, he assumed this persona while at public functions.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • thehassler

      Oh what a good laugh! Thanks guys.

      Over 2,000 people involved with the 60's moon landing – but not one of them has stepped forward to make a million dollars by saying it was faked. Not even one *crazy* employee.

      You poor people who continue to deny the moon landing truly need to get a life. Perhaps you could reestablish the Flat Earth Society? ROTFL

      March 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  10. Prof Alexander

    Being an expert in the field of Lunar Studies I can assure you we did not go to the moon.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • thehassler

      Come on man. My 10 year old granddaughter can come up with a better fake cover than "Prof of Lunar Studies" *ROTFLMAO*

      March 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • MBDK

        The "Prof" is just some clown having fun. Check out his hilarious over-the-top pseudo-science reply concernig the Earth's core to Stephen Dall.

        March 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  11. Sharp

    The Human Race is entering it's wild teenage years. If we don't knock off fighting with & exploiting each other we will not make it. The blue ribbon science panel from several years back predicted human extinction within 0 to 1,000 years. The real enemy is a big & hostile universe. Every ounce of resources we put into destroying & using each other puts us that much closer to extinction. It's either change or die & the outlook isn't good. This is not idealist stuff this is the hard reality. I personally don't think we can either change or survive.

    March 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Stephen Dall

    I read somewhere that the earth's magnetic fields are weakening. If so – and I wouldn't know why- one might conclude that that the Van Allen belts, which apparently are held in position by our magnetic fields, would be affected, thereby jeopardizing the planet to space radiation and solar storms.

    March 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • bannister

      We live in such a precarious situation. We just assume the Earth will remain constant, protecting us from outside elements. If we truly understood the dangers facing us, we would probably shriek in horror!

      I guess that's why it's best to enjoy this world every single moment that we can!

      March 10, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Shane

      It fluctuates, and even completely reverses at times (its not on a set timer). And while it is true that at this point in time it is weakening, it is still at an above average strength throughout our tested history.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
      • Stephen Dall

        Thanks for your reply. Regards, SD

        March 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Prof Alexander

      We should be ok. Near the earth's core is magnetic sphere the size if a small planet. This creates a magnetic field that is responsible for gravity and most of our weather. By gushing the barometric pressure one can determine that we are in fact experiencing a non lunar cycle.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Stephen Dall

        Thanks for your reply. Regards SD

        March 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  13. tonextrainingcoursesblog

    Great article

    March 10, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  14. ken

    we have satellites that can show us the number of moles on a fly's balls but we for some reason cannot show a lifesized picture of the american flag sitting on the moon. Also when india was it? discovered water on the moon nasa and the USA were all of a sudden in a panic to rush up and say they knew it already when in fact it would have been common knowledge that water existed on the moon if the USA had gone there. with the equipment of the time there is no way that a moon landing took place. sorry there is no proof other than the BS light and sound show that we are supposed to believe during a cold war era when conspiracies not only ran wild but were actually perpetrated. So until they show me a live feed today of a man on the moon with satellites NOT Controlled by the USA or whatever country is supposedly doing it watching and recording the event I wont believe we actually set foot on the moon. Also, when that event actually shows me a tattered or well preserved US flag (I assume solar radiation would take its toll but hey what do i know) i wont ever believe the USA set foot on the moon. More propaganda to take the pressure off the pressure valve of nuclear war in a time when idiots ran the country. Although i give them credit for doing something so outrageous that it did take away some pressure from nuclear war. It worked even if it was all BS.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      "but hey what do i know"

      You answered your own question. You don't know anything. Instead you choose to spew more inane anti-science drivel.

      You purposefully choose to be ignorant.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • albert

        He is not being anti-science, he is using his powers of perception. I think science is awesome, but it does have its flaws. Scientific "miscalculations" are well known. It is also know that some scientist have skewed facts for the sake of receiving funding for their projects. Unfortunately science has become a form of religion complete with blind followers, and people that misinterpret scientific findings. For example, science claims that there is great "probability" that life exists somewhere in our universe (besides earth). Man can peer some 23 billion light years into the universe, and have absolute zero proof of other life. Yet you have some scientific followers that will state as fact that there is other life in the universe. Another is the Big Bang Theory. In order for science to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Big Bang was factual, they would have to create something from nothing. They cannot do that. Yet, you have scientific followers that will state The Big Bang as fact. I can always tell when the scientific blind sheep are posting as opposed to real scientists. Just like the blind sheep of religion, the science blind sheep try to belittle the thoughts of others. That's called manipulation. Manipulation is a tool of the insecure.

        March 10, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Matt

        He is being anti-science, although in a different manner than a fundie might be. He's being anti-science because he is rejecting outright a WHOLE LOT of evidence that we did in fact land on the on the moon. To correlate the resolving power of a spy satellite at low-earth orbit to our ability to take pictures of the moon is ridiculous enough. But he is also ignoring the fact that Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter HAS in fact taken pictures of the flag on the moon. And from there it simply devolved into conspiracy theories. It's REALLY unlikely that such a gigantic conspiracy involving so many people would remain air-tight for so long.

        March 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • cedar rapids

        ' For example, science claims that there is great "probability" that life exists somewhere in our universe (besides earth). Man can peer some 23 billion light years into the universe, and have absolute zero proof of other life. Yet you have some scientific followers that will state as fact that there is other life in the universe'

        what is wrong with the probability statement? With the billions upon billions of stars out there the probability that there is life is going to be higher than probability that we are it in the whole universe. There is nothing wrong with that statement. And claiming a high probability is not the same as claiming for a fact, as you then went on to spout.

        no, you and the original poster are those that want to ignore science for some bizarre reason, and yet are more than happy to use the tools invented by science to make a posting moaning about it.

        March 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • albert

      I hear what you are saying, but with all the Governments in the world that "hate" the US, or would otherwise like to embarrass them, wouldn't you think they would use something like a moon landing hoax to expose the USA? As far as the "water" incident goes, The water was a ways under the surface. The first people on the moon wouldn't have known it was there since they did not dig deep into the moons surface. At any rate, I doubt that a "hoax" like this could be kept a secret for so long. Plus, if someone showed you a photo of a flag on the moon, would you even believe it was from the moon?

      March 10, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Really

      Ken, is it true there is a ring around Uranus?

      March 10, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Rob

      Ken, you're an idiot how did we get moon rocks? Or how did the lasers that allow us to know how far the moon has drifted away from the Earth. Or the five missions that went there. Don't believe it who cares it still happened. When you go the world will be a better place.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • bannister

        How do you know the moon rocks are really moon rocks? I'm actually curious, because I would have no idea of how to verify such a thing.

        March 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • MBDK

        Everything you want to know about moon rocks and more:

        March 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Pedro

      Ken, I know this won't convince you but there are photos that have captured the shadow of the flags on the moon. I personally think that perpetuating such a grand hoax for over 40 years with thousands of people involved is a far greater human achievement than landing men on the moon. That is just as unbelievable to me as the moon landing is to you. My biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they give government far too much credit. And Albert, to your point, sometimes you need to put faith in what scientists did before you. Some of Newtown's and Einstein's most convincing theories were based on assumptions that what their predecessors theorized was true. If everyone dismissed everything as false unless it happened to them specifically we would still be in the stone age. Scientific progress requires leaps of faith.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • bannister

        If conspiracy theories about NOT going to the moon "give the government too much credit" then doesn't ACTUALLY LANDING ON THE MOON give the government too much credit as well? I'm not saying it the moon landings didn't happen, but if they did, they are just as "incredible" as a theory that we didn't go!

        March 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Pedro

        IDon't get me wrong, I believe that government is capable of incredible things. Moon landings are one example. The math proves at the very least this is possible. My point was that to perpetuate a lie among thousands of people and have nobody spill the beans for over 40 years is defies logic. Math does not back up such an unbelievable claim. The ability of the government to silence thousands of free thinking engineers and scientist for over 40 years would require nothing short of a perpetual mass brain washing. And without a single outlier from the community to break free and say it was just a joke does indeed give the government too much credit. And don't get me started on 911.

        March 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Jennifer

      Have you heard about the International Space Station? How could there possibly be a space station, but a trip to the moon is beyond our capabilities? Either you need further education, or a therapist.

      March 10, 2013 at 10:37 am |
      • bannister

        The International Space Station is in Earth's orbit. It is much easier to put something INTO Earth's orbit than to ESCAPE from Earth's orbit – something that a voyage to the moon would require.

        Traveling to the moon would also require traveling through the radioactive Van Allen belt shown in this article. Some people don't believe this is possible. It is interesting to note that the Space Shuttle never escaped Earth's orbit or crossed the Van Allen belt. Just saying!

        March 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • MBDK

        And your ignorance of why the shuttle never COULD go beyond LEO, and the fact the ISS goes through a portion of the Van Allen Belts (look up South Atlantic Anomaly) about 16 times a day, with the shuttle, when in use, going along for the ride, shows why you bring nothing of importance to these posts.

        Just saying!

        March 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'Traveling to the moon would also require traveling through the radioactive Van Allen belt shown in this article. Some people don't believe this is possible.'

        some people are ignorant

        March 10, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Jason

        Isn't the moon also orbiting the earth?

        March 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • cybertspaced

      Ahh... then I see no choice except to launch you to the moon to show how we can do it quite easily these days. Even land you at one of the sites we have previously been to prove that we have indeed been there before. The best part is once you are there, we can still safely say there is still no reasonably intelligent life on the moon. :p

      March 10, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • bannister

        No, we do NOT land on the moon "easily these days." The last time was 1972!

        March 10, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • cybertspaced

        You don't think after 40 years, with the proper funding of course, we could launch a mission to the moon and do it much easier? ..or maybe you just like to argue. lol

        March 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Joe

      "(I assume solar radiation would take its toll but hey what do i know)" You don't know squat! It hasn't been until recently that scientist's discovered techniques to analyze moon rocks brought back from the moon to contain water. You speak of conspiracies...take a pill and chill!

      March 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • DaMeglet

      And the Flat Earth Society releases their official statement...

      March 10, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • JZG

      Here's proof for you: if NASA were willing to fake great accomplishments like landing on the moon, they would have another one.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • cedar rapids

      'Also when india was it? discovered water on the moon nasa and the USA were all of a sudden in a panic to rush up and say they knew it already when in fact it would have been common knowledge that water existed on the moon if the USA had gone there'

      what nonsense are you on about now? there arent lakes or oceans or anything. water on the moon is frozen and under the surface or at the poles.......places the moon landings were not looking at. They were interested in being first and getting home. just accept it will you for crying out loud.
      better yet, go find buzz aldrin and tell him you think hes a liar, he will be more than happy to 'talk' to you about it.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • John

      Primework has it right – this is ignorant drivel – which is what most conspiracy freaks spew. And what a balls up monster conspiracy that would have been; harder actually than going to the moon.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Prof Alexander

      I agree with Ken. As I am a scientist it is my opinion we did not go to the moon.

      March 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • MemeGenerator

      A hoax of the moon landing would have required technology that they didn't have back then. Here, watch this:

      March 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  15. StayinAlive

    This is like how many weeks old? Typical CNN reporting.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  16. tdg44

    Isn't it great how evolution works...... Ha ha

    March 10, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Primewonk

      This has nothing to do with evolution. I wonder why you think it would?

      March 10, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  17. Awesome

    The 3rd Radiation belt disappeared suddenly....sounds very fishy. May be soon we will find the Fatastic 4. Nasa is just trying to come up with stuff to get more funding. If its real, they probably new it decades ago and just releasing info in this way to ask for funding.

    March 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  18. joel

    I assume one could deflect against radiation and transverse the belts, but how could a radio / video signal transverse the belts? The signal would not need the same deflection of solar radiation to stay intact crossing through two or three zones which spread invisible waves out and in toward the north pole?

    March 10, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • jim atmad

      Radio and video signals are just different frequencies of light, which pass quite freely through the belts.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:51 am |
  19. markE

    i read that russia reported that the moon landing was a hoax..but the usa never reported these stories..also russia did not have the capability to monitor the moon landings at the begining in 69 but when they did the moon landings stopped!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 6:00 am |
    • jim atmad

      Sasquatch and Elvis both believe that the moon landings were a hoax, too.

      Oh, and Tupac says "hi!".

      March 10, 2013 at 6:40 am |
      • Sharp

        Alien Elvis was there to watch the landings. He told me they were the real deal. He didn't introduce himself because he didn't want to freak out the Astronauts.

        March 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      Russia were sending people up into space before the US, why do you think they could not monitor the moon landings?
      And lets see.....Russia, the US enemy during the cold war claims the landings were faked huh? well that must be right then, no reason why the cold war enemy would claim a US success wasnt true.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Shane

      They certainly did not call it a hoax. I've seen this brought up before, and its also been refuted by people who lived in the USSR at the time, including my grandmother.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Prof Alexander

      Mark is 100 percent correct. The US never went to the moon. It is sad that do many of you can't accept the truth

      March 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • cybertspaced

        Obviously not a NASA scientist. Probably having issues with those Mars rovers too. lol You can stay blind at the pool of water in front of you, but doesn't mean you will not drown if you dive on in. 😉

        March 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  20. meh

    How lethal are these radiation belts? And how the astronauts survive them on the Apollo mission?

    March 10, 2013 at 5:44 am |
    • jim atmad

      You wouldn't want to live in a Van Allen belt without serious protection, but passing through is not a huge medical risk.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  21. lolwut

    After considerable analysis of this topic, I have reached the conclusion that I'm not wearing any pants.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • jim atmad

      How's that working out for you?

      March 10, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • kennyzales

      First of all, my cat's breath smells like cat food. Secondly, I am always astounded at the quality and lucidity of the arguments presented by those who comment on these forums. I can easily use most of them as references for my dissertation on Theoretical and Experimental Study of the Nonlinear Quantum and Dispersive Properties of Non-Locality Within a Plasma Field Array.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • lolwut

        Can I touch ur giant brain?

        March 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  22. worldcares

    For 33 years, I have always had a rubber chicken on the wall, in my kitchen.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:33 am |
  23. John

    I studied radioactive isotopes very closely in my graduate study. Per my estimate, it is very hard to believe that human being can go cross the belts a couple times and had no health impacts. I guess that there would be many dead bodies in the spacecrafts when they arrived at moon.

    China announced moon landing plan. They won't do it rather use it to blackmail US for anything they want. Chinese know it is impossible to go to the moon alive.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Shane


      The radiation is high energy proton radiation, its not the same we are used to on Earth. Its deadly, yes, but much easier to defend against. Also, they went through a thinner part of the belts, spending less than half an hour in the belts themselves, so that's not a whole lot of radiation they received.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • MBDK

        Not entirely correct, but you are on the right track Electrons are included, and it took them several hours to completely transit both belts (3rd belt? – too many unknows at this time).

        March 10, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • dangle66

      The Russians had the ability to monitor us... if we hadn't made it past the belts, they would have certainly said so. And you can minimize exposure by passing through the narrow parts of the belts.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
      • Mel Stricker

        Thank you. The US and the Russians were in the middle of the Cold War. If the Russians could have humiliated the US by showing the US did not land on the moon, they would have done that with smiles on their faces. Also there are thousands of astrophysicists in many countries actively working then and more with a better understanding of space working now. No one with any credibility has ever stated the US did not land on the moon.

        When a private company goes to the moon (maybe in the next few years but soon) these people will say that didn't happen also.
        I guess those conspiracy people never let the facts get in the way

        March 10, 2013 at 4:37 am |
      • John

        How would they have known at the time where the narrow parts of the belts were, if they didn't know until today that there is a third belt?

        March 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • dangle66

      not to mention the Russians intercepted the video signal of the landing... coming from the moon.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • MBDK

      Reall?y What isotope(s) did you study? And in what context? What were the types and energies of their decay products? What do you think the dose rate was for the astronauts? What did you estmate the shielding value of the command capsule to be?

      Take your B.S. somewhere else, please.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • JMH 050

      John, there's about zero chance you've ever studied anything beyond conspiracy videos on YouTube. The "can't pass through the Van Allen belt" story is what happens when people who haven't paid any academic dues attempt to explain things they're not qualified to. If you had any any understanding of the VA belts, you'd realize that there's far more danger after leaving them (in the event of heavy solar activity, and there were multiple near-misses with the Apollo missions). Passing through the belts is okay-you wouldn't want to build a house there, but it's not a fatal dosage of radiation.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • myway

      Right, so the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford administrations deceived us into believing the Gemini and Apollo programs happened when they didn't? Fantastic! But wait, what about the 1000s of NASA scientists, engineers, technicians and contractors, were they in on the hoax too? How did so many conspirators keep so many co-conspirators quiet for so long? They must be all very dedicated since any one of the hoaxers could have taken an enormously lucrative book/TV/movie deal to blow the top off this story. Oh, what are you saying? Right, of course, the entire US media was also part of the conspiracy. How dumb of me to forget that.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:59 am |
    • The_Mick

      Most of the radiation is high energy protons, electrons (beta particles) and helium nuclei (alpha particles). The gamma rays the some radioactive isotopes emit penetrate much more easily than the particles. There is no problem with the skin of a spacecraft deflecting them.

      March 10, 2013 at 5:21 am |
    • Imwolf

      guess you did study all that hard. Next time you go for an x-ray, place a thin sheet of aluminium foil over the area and see how of view you get. Thin aluminium is enough to block most x-rays and most spacecraft did have an aluminium or tin foil skin within the layers.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  24. da

    why o why o why didn't you you fellow dems vote for hillary? things could have been so much better, but you people were focused on making history. disgusting...


    March 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • jim atmad

      I'm hopeful we'll have the chance to right what you believe was a wrong in 2016 and get Hillary back in the White House.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:43 am |

    When i first clicked on the article, i was excited by the many insightful minds must be commenting?what else do people know?...Sigh.i read all the comments today and they got more appalling as I scrolled down.
    How it ends up at a god god conversation...ridiculous.Why i can't just read insightful commentary, without all the nuttiness, i will never know.Probably 3...4 smart comments out of dozens and dozens.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • da

      you've never seen the internet before, have you?

      March 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  26. zorb Prot

    i was over the moon last week when i won $2 with my lotto ticket. while in this heightened state i looked down and saw the U.S. flag there so you have my word Apollo happened.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  27. jimmy

    This is why the NASA Apollo Moon trips can be confirmed as fakes. This is why interplanetary travel is impossible. I'm surprised that CNN would ever mention this.... Usually main stream media outlets steer clear of the truth.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • MBDK

      Actually, your comment reeks of scientific ignorance. I'm NOT surprised that you feel free to look so foolish for all the internet to see, since that is what the ignorant people do. A little unbiased research quickly validates the Apollo missions for any reasonable person. I doubt your ability to perform such research, but I would be happy for you to proove me wrong.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  28. Cal Newlan

    OK, all you scientists, I'm outa here. Remember: being sure isn't good enough; you've got to be empirico-positive!

    March 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • MBDK

      Are you sure about that?

      March 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  29. anonymoose

    OK then so how did they get past the belts without getting irradiated?

    March 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      Excellent question! You'll find the answer at

      March 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • MBDK

      They DID get irradiated (FYI, we are ALL getting slighly radiated throughout our existence), but not to levels beyond acceptable risk. They did this via capsule shielding, short duration of travel within the belts, and by only traveling through the weakest portions of the belts.

      March 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
      • tpobrienjr

        Both probe satellites are designed to survive the harshest environments we know (or suspect) they will encounter. That way they can measure what's really there (e.g., the third belt). It's interesting to know that the third belt comes and goes.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • MBDK

        Ooops, my bad. I thought the original post was asking about the Apollo missions. I see now that this is a different thead, and how my response makes little sense in that aspect.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Shane

      1) Its high level proton radiation, its easier to defend against and can use thinner materials
      2) They didn't spend a lot of time in the belts, I believe it was under 30 minutes per pass (may have been 30 minutes the entire trip I forget)
      3) They went through the thinnest sections of the belts, decreasing the amount of radiation they did receive
      4) A little radiation isn't that terrible.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  30. dreamer96

    Looks like a huge Tesla Coil....hmmm

    We are in trouble at the north and south pole thou...
    Oh no Shields are Down Captain Kirk..we will never survive another hit ....Curse you Khan.....

    March 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  31. randy

    have a nice day geniuses

    March 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
  32. hzmila

    This puts in doubt the whole moon landing missions of the 1960's and 1970's. They (NASA) are admitting outright in the article that man has never been on the moon. After all, weren't the space shuttles more advanced than the lunar landing module? Yet, after four decades, no mission has been sent to the moon or beyond. There is no way an astronaut would be content to just fly a few hundred miles above earth in a space shuttle when it was supposedly possible to go to the moon and back in an ancient space craft circa the groovy year of 1969.

    March 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Raven

      Why would you/we spend billions of dollars sending MORE astronauts to the moon? What would they do there.
      It's just a dust covered rock with no value to speak of. No more exploration needed.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • logic

        actually, the moon has many resources...

        March 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Jaimie

      Get a life dude. Man was on the moon. Stop stressing over it and carry on your life.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • randy

        i have a life , why dont you get a life................and stock someone else

        March 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • randy

        i have a life , why dont you get a life................and stock someone else..................................

        March 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • Alex


        March 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Andrew

      If you did even the most basic amount of research you would see that man has visited the moon and returned safely. This is indisputable. Mirrors attached to the base structure of the lunar landing modules are on the lunar surface and you can bounce lasers off of them for exact distance measurements if that would suit you.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Primal

        FYI they were bouncing lasers off of the moon and back long before there was any mirror placed there. So no, that alone is not indisputable evidence that man was there.

        March 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
      • Andrew

        "They were bouncing lasers off the moon and back long before we had mirrors [retroreflectors] on the moon"

        ... "and back"? Well, yes, the moon is a reflective surface, but there's attinuation losses. It's hard to get precise data measured when you have a fair percentage of the light you're shining get absorbed by the object you're shining on, hoping to get a small signal back.

        So back before we landed on the moon, during the early to mid 1960s, physicists knew that while shining a light on the moon and seeing the pulse it sends back was possible, they wanted to be able to study things like the moon's angular momentum, or a more precise measurement for lunor orbits to test GTR models.

        This was just not possible with the technology of the time, or even theoretically, because you can never be sure what kind of object you're hitting on the moon, and so introduce a host of unknown variables and potential errors.

        So the solution, proposed around the mid 1960s, was to have manmade retroreflectors to go up with the Apollo project so as to give real robust targets on the moon. That way, we have very specific ideas of where we're hitting on the surface of the moon, with a very high fidilety signal coming back. That can't really be explained in lieu of retroreflectors.

        If you want further readings, check "lunar laser ranging experiment"

        March 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • Ican Heare

        I have done some basic research. Watch the falling feather and hammer video. Time it. Use Newton's laws. FYI, I'm not the first to do this simple calculation. There are dozens of physics professors that have their students perform this same real calculation to show how off it is from theoretical calculation. And if you don't know how to do this let me know and I'll do the calculation for you. But it's physics 101 and you kinda sound like you might be in physics anyway.

        March 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      get a life hzmila

      March 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • LMW

        Is this suppose to be news.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Shane

      How did they admit they haven't gone?

      They simply discovered a 3rd, and seemingly temporary radiation ring.

      The reason we didn't go back, there isn't a reason to.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • tony

      Are you kidding? Do you honestly believe that the presence of charged particles trapped within the earth's magnetic fields are going to stop a spacecraft and astronauts from going to the moon? Get a life. And by the way, it is "stalk", not "stock." I don't know if it is possible to "stock" someone...ROTFLMAO.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • Zwei Stein

        Sure you can. Some onions, garlic, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to taste.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • MBDK

      NO way any astronaut would be content? How many have you talked to to hear that? Regrdless, your ignorance of physics, engineering, astrology, etc. shows why you have such a ludicrous opinion. The Apollo success is an astounding achievment, but it took hundreds of thousands of people years of hard, dedicated work to make it happen. The fact that you cannot understand how that occurred, as well as why manned missions haven't returned (but may later with better, more expansive roles) since 1972, indicates there are extreme limitations on your ability to think logically.

      P.S. Make sure you wear your tin-foil hat when reading this to ensure your brain isn't influenced to return to a semi-normal state.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Andrew

      No, no it really, REALLY doesn't.

      "weren't the space shuttles more advanced than the lunar landing module? Yet, after four decades, no mission has been sent to the moon or beyond"

      Yes, the shuttles were more advanced. My old ipod video is more advanced than the entire computing power of the manhatten project. But does that mean I can use my old ipod video in order to develop an atomic bomb? I don't think so.

      The shuttles were originally designed for low orbit reusable transportation. They were not designed for something like going to the moon, because that wasn't the goal of the project.

      It was the goal of the country back in the 1960s, so while technology was worse, but that didn't matter. Their goal was to "just put the astronauts in a tight cramped metal box, put a giant rocket under them, and fire for the moon". The moon landing was a very low-tech operation, it was to prove we could do it, not prove we could do it cheaply or efficiently.

      The space shuttle was originally developed for being a cheap and efficient reusable low earth space transport. Now the project ended up being neither cheap, nor efficient, but hey, the F-35 Lightning II is years over due, billions behind budget, and shown to be less effective than promised... so I can't fault NASA too heavily for that. I mean the program has cost maybe 200 billion, so the entire space shuttle program cost about half than the cost of building the F-35.

      Tools are built with specific pruposes. The shuttle was not developed to go to the moon. It wasn't developed to go far from earth at all. There has been no rush to go back to the moon because there is nothing necessarily to gain, so no one has financed moon missions. The 200 billion that went to the shuttles kinda prevented much manned deeper space exploration.

      PS. Astronauts are content so long as they're being paid. They won't be paid if they refuse to fly because they're not given a moon landing mission, which makes them a lot more likely to say "yes I'll go up on the shuttle".

      We probably will as a species arrive on the moon again, but only when there's a profit motive to support it.

      March 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • Ican Heare

        "Yes, the shuttles were more advanced. My old ipod video is more advanced than the entire computing power of the manhatten project. But does that mean I can use my old ipod video in order to develop an atomic bomb? I don't think so."

        Bad comparison, like comparing van Gogh to Mozart. The Manhattan Project was a mechanical/electrical/chemical engineering feat, not a test of computational sciences know-how. To perform their calculations, they actually brought in high school students to just sit in a room and do math all day long and of course not talk to each other about why they were doing this. One of the reasons they brought Lieutenant Gen. Leslie Groves in to lead it was because of what he had accomplished leading the design and construction of the Pentagon, not because he was working on ENIAC.

        March 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • cptwayne

      I disagree. Just how did you arrive at such an absurb conclusion? Where is the line that says there was no moon mission?
      Do you think the radiation belts were too dangerous to go to the moon and back? What is the lethal dose of radiation for man and what is the amount of radiation given off by the radiation belts? That's right blanket head, it's way below the lethal dose considering the duration of the trip. Of course, a large solar flare is another story.

      March 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • bgg1175

      Incredible how we were batting 1000 with the Moon Landings and since we cant achieve such perfection in any such venture. And somehow we never knew about this 3rd belt?
      Add it all up and it says we never went to the moon.

      March 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • MBDK

        Critical thinking just isn't your forte, is it? You count Apollo 13 as a 100% success? If you bother to do any research – NONE of the Apollo missions was even close to flawless. Still, our Mars rovers are in actuallity doing remarkably well. Also, did you skip the part of the article concerning the 3rd belt where it stated "It appears that solar weather caused its formation, and disappearance."? Need I go on?

        March 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
      • glennrobert

        It is interesting that the Russians never had anything to say about our "non-trip" to the moon! This was a political trip and they would have gotten a lot of miles out of a non-event.

        March 10, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Dethridge

      They said that because it has been more than 4 decades since they went to the moon.

      March 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Michael J. Anthony

      That's like saying our knowledge of Tsunamis and rogue waves casts doubt on the voyage of Columbus. Project Apollo was a seat-of-pants endeavor from start to finish. If we knew then what we know now about solar radiation we might never have sent astronauts up beyond the magnetosphere in unshielded spacecraft. We certainly wouldn't do it now.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  33. dotheflippin'math

    The Catholic church has to be the oddest, most confused religion out there. They promote scientific research, and believe in evolution, the big bang theory. Yet, they are opposed to responsible birth control. Fwiw, the Catholics "invented" Christianity, and they know the real "truth," that there is no "truth." As crazy as they are, I prefer them by far over the "Evangelicals" who oppose science, deny evolution, and insist the world is only around 10,000 years old. They are dangerously misdirecting the public educational systems into abandoning scientific theory and evidence, in an attempt to protect their ridiculous religious beliefs. Tea Party thugs are the Spanish Inquisition of the 21st century. If you're living your life for the sake of an after-life, you will be sorely disappointed....or not, as you will be dead, and no longer a conscious living person. I'm ok with believing in a heaven, but, Jesus himself did not believe in hell. Early Christians had to add a stick to go along with the carrot. It was great marketing, as Christians and Muslims make up the majority of religious believers. Sadly, it is also their excuse to condemn, persecute and/or kill each other, and everyone else who won't pledge allegiance to their particular set of beliefs. Go away, fundies! You belong in Church, not in the science section.

    March 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Stv

      You wrote:'
      Jesus himself did not believe in hell. '

      Why do you say that?

      March 10, 2013 at 5:17 am |
  34. dotheflippin'math

    Every single day, scientists discover new things and answer questions about the nature of the universe, answers to questions that hadn't even been asked when the (current) major religions were INVENTED. Nowhere have we found anything in the universe that requires or proves the existence of a god. If there is a god, why would he allow us to fight over which of the hundreds of current religions is the "correct one?" IF there is a god, I theorize that he couldn't give a rat's bottom about religion. Sad that so many people still live in the Dark Ages, and cling to unsubstantiated religious BELIEFS concocted (and repeatedly revised) by MEN when everyone KNEW the Earth was FLAT, and the sun and stars all revolved around us. WE'RE NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. We're spinning around our Sun, on a distant arm of the Milky Way galaxy, one of billions of spiral galaxies in the known universe. That's reality. Religion is fantasy, no more real than any fictional book or movie. Billions of believers don't make any religion any more valid than any other one, no matter how convinced they are. Not understanding a part of nature does not mean a supernatural force is responsible. It's just a lack of knowledge, and your easy cop-out. Scientists search for answers. "Believers" hide from them.

    March 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • mlblogscbgoldsmith

      Perhaps you live in your own head and how you sound to strangers either matters nothing or remains oblivious but your fierce denials of god sound no different than zealots who truly believe in a god. I'm an agnostic but it would be folly for me to put all of my intellectual eggs in one basket because both science and religion are infants within a dogma that we may never know. Atheists and true believers are so over the top in their need to be correct that I doubt both of them and think they doth protest too much. I would suggest that our need to be right says more about our human preciousness than it does about our depth. The ride that is life should be examined to a point, surrendered to a point and then lived wildly with verve as the one thing we do know for sure, is thatno one here gets out alive.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  35. Tom

    How come religion and politics always works its way into news pertaining to science?

    March 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dana

      Religion comes in because religious people are in denial and they want to hold on to their silly beliefs.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Danny

        Only comments I have seen pertaining to religion are by those who are not. I'm glad to see your stupidity is just boundless 🙂

        March 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • HolyChrist

      Because Right-wingers don't like the government telling them what to do... since they already have religion to tell them what to do.

      March 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  36. Cal Newlan

    So, some "scientists" are trying to convince us that the earth is surrounded by a massive blue, red, yellow and green thing?

    March 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • SB

      No, but some idiot is being deliberately obtuse in the comment section.

      March 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dana

      You don't need to put quotes around scientist. The are actually real unlike "god".

      March 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • bob aussie

        Oh?? Am I not "real?"

        March 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Fred

      Oh, good grief– I see two people who need to have their silly humor gene reactivated.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  37. yosemite sam

    looking to prove or disprove that sounds like the silly argument of the day...Someday, we all meet our maker.. which is why I feel sorry for those of you who have nothing better to do all day but dot i's and cross t's...

    March 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Realist

      You have your choice to remain ignorant. No one tells you who to believe in. All of science is purely logical. Theories are proven by substance, not faith.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        "All of science" is not "purely logical." The failed logical positivist project taught us a few things. You're about seventy-five years behind the times.

        March 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Its True

        Science will fly you to the moon. Religion will fly you into buildings.

        March 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • socabron

        Actually, I think you need to have some form of "faith" in some reality in order to investigate it...

        March 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Dana

      I feel sorry for all of you brain-washed, weak-minded, religious nuts that spend your lives believing in fairy tales and hoping for a better life that is not coming. Don't forget to donate 10% of your income to the child molesters at your church tomorrow morning.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • Foregone

        Dana, I've been reading the comments for a bit now and your name just keeps popping up. We get it. You dont believe in god...thats lovely but no one cares, you are espousing personal belief more than the "Brainwashed Christians". So you are, infact, more idealogical than they are. Your idealogy is whats wrong with this country, your istant outrage and and need for attention and recognition for your enlightened ideas is synonmous with clerics of religion. Wake up and see whats important in life and what your holding closely in your idealogy is far more dangerous and perverse than religion

        March 10, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • JD

      I'm guessing you have plenty of technology in your home, work and daily life...perhaps even in your body. All courtesy of the science you decry. If you feel this way, then show your "faith" by rejecting all technology and products derived from technology.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Scionical

      That "dotting I's and crossing t's" is what we like to call "making sure that we're right." as posed to blindly accepting that some magic sky man is going to happy-fart us into eternity.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Shane

      I've met my makers. My mother and father.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  38. xirume

    It's utterly hilarious how lay people think they can debate or deny the reality of science. It's like being told by your doctor that you have cancer and the tests confirm it but you choose to disbelieve it all and insist that its only a cold. How stupid can that possibly be? but in the scientific realm, we see it done everyday by untold numbers of narcissistic morons. It's a shame to see so much potential brainpower gone to waste.

    March 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • piepaw

      In my experience, if I want to engage in scientific discourse, I log on to a scientic forum, certainly not news media.

      March 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      I've never heard ANYONE "deny the reality of science."

      March 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • orly

        LOL Well im glad youve been spared exposure to morons.

        March 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Orly, you've actually heard people deny that science is "real," and not merely disagree with its application?

        March 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Fred

      Yes, because (1) how could ordinary people possibly understand science; and (2) doctors are never wrong and ordinary people should never question their diagnoses.

      You sound like the scientific equivalent of priests who claim lay people can never question church dogma.

      March 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  39. csatu

    Why do all you morons turn every article into a Obama or God thing. You really need to quit watching tv and get a real life.

    March 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • chakmur

      You are absolutely right! The american education system seems to have disintegrated so badly that these morons have become puppets in the hands of the media. There is no incentive to become an engineer or a scientist.. Everything is reality TV based ! Their education is through the so called elitist/pundits of cable TV.. Shame on America!

      March 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • piepaw

        The thirst for, and subsequent quest of, knowledge never has had a thing to do with whatever educational "system" the student was under. We teach ourselves more than we ever give ourselves credit for. The great minds have never depended on "teachers" for what they have discovered.

        March 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  40. Optimus Prime Number

    This is precisely the information the computer overlords will need to build their own planet.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  41. dd

    Obama and the Administration of idiots declared that the science was settled! The news journalists, the society of morons, agreed. The taxpayer funded researchers, the society of imbeciles, also agreed. It is great that the US is being led by a corrupt Chicago Democrat who is a scientific idiot! IQs are important. Does Obama have one>

    March 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • frontgate

      How could he. You know he's not a Christian. Muslim is what he is, born in Kenya. He ain't even a U.S. citizen. Ain't it ashame? A president of America, a foreigner.My, my, what's this world commin' to? He stole that election is what he did. Just ask Limbaugh or O'Reilly or Beck or any good republican, they'll tell ya the truth.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • WGG

        And whats even more gauling is that he is showing up the last president, GW Bush. How dare he!

        March 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • xirume

      That chip on your shoulder is the size of the galaxy and you can thank science for that.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • getbent

      I'm sorry. What?!?

      March 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Marc

      You are the idiot. Take your pills and get some sleep before you kill yourself or have a heart attack, you sad little simpleton.

      March 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  42. volsocal

    It's man caused global radiation belting. Quick, tax satellite TV, skim some off the top, and give the rest to other countries.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  43. tony

    Science isn't a religion. Just a curious, rational and increasingly successful way of accurately analyzing what our senses and instruments and discoveries say surrounds us. The intention is only so we can understand better how those things work, and perhaps, as a a result, turn things more to our advantage.

    For those who dislike or distrust learning about things in that way, then just come up with something better. But please demonstrate how it is better and more accurate.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • FortRandallAK

      I have been waiting 40 years for the coming ice age that science assured us was just around the corner.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • Shane

        Just around the corner in what terms?

        And the wonderful thing about science, it isn't absolutely set in stone. As new data is collected, some old theories are disproven.

        March 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  44. Russ

    What would Jesus say about this? Where is heaven? I thought heaven was up there! If it isn't in the radiation, where is it? Can our souls exist in radiation.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • RJ

      Ever thought that our souls might exist in a totally different dimension where time and space do not exist? Just because our minds only comprehend what we see and can touch doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • getbent

        No doubt RJ. But if our minds can't comprehend such a dimension, or anything about it, how can anyone talk about Jesus and the like as facts, and nothing more than fantastical stories?

        March 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • The Truth

      Well, Jesus' appointed representative on Earth, even though temporarily vacant at the moment, is the leader of one of the biggest contributers to science in terms of funds, resources and manpower. Yep, thats right the Catholic Church spends massive amounts of money on science through its own research, universities, schools, and donations.

      Before all the extremist missinformed people start yelling Galileo, that was a long time ago and the Church has learned and adapted since then. Using that as an argument would be equivelent to saying the United States Government is against women in politics, because John Adams once said "I will not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman." Times change, organizations change, try to keep up or be careful your ignorance will show. You can keep up with latest fashions, what your favorite celebrity had for lunch, and what iphone version is out, so I know have the ability to keep tabs of what changed several hundred years ago.

      Catholics believe in evolution, dinosaurs existed and the Earth is more then a couple of billion years old. All of this is taught in Catholic schools and our religion supports the accepted scientific explanation for how the universe works and is open to rationally discuss any scientific theory out there.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dana

      That is because there is no heaven or hell except in some people's minds.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  45. Kathleen Burgess

    I dont sweat the small stuff Richard because its not important. Learn whats really important and whats not. BETTER YET LEARN WHO IS IMPORTANT AND WHO IS NOT!

    March 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  46. Jerry Okamura

    What lesson should we learn about this story? That there are a whole lot of things that scientist don't know about. Which then should lead you to ask, when a scientist tells you they know what the truth is, how can they know what the truth is, when they do not know the whole truth?

    March 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      Scientists will remind you that, scientifically speaking, there is no "final" or "whole" truth, unless they want to try to win an argument, then suddenly they know the whole truth.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • MM

        "Scientists will remind you that, scientifically speaking, there is no "final" or "whole" truth, unless they want to try to win an argument, then suddenly they know the whole truth."

        No, that's not true. No scientist would ever claim to have the whole truth. That's *your* side's claim.

        March 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Guest

      That's deep.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Wizard

      At least scientists base their thoughts on testable, verifiable data. Whether it is eventually right or wrong, at least its closer to the truth than something made up to make us feel better.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • RJ

        Verifiable data? How about when they thought the Earth was flat? Science was convinced of it. Science at that time had no clue.

        March 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • duh

        Until they discovered it wasn't flat and CHANGED their thinking to fit what they found out was true. Then when someone made another discovery it CHANGED things even more. That's the whole point, it's called progress. You probably would have been one of the round earth deniers back in that day.

        March 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • SB

        RJ, even the ancient Greeks knew perfectly well that the Earth was round. Not only did they know it was round but they even measured its size - and got it right to within just a few percent.

        This knowledge was not forgotten. It is absolutely false that people in the time of Columbus thought the world was "flat". The actual argument was over the size of the Earth, not its shape.

        I don't know where people like you got the idea that "scientists thought the world was flat" but whoever told you that nonsense didn't do you any favors.

        March 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • xirume

      Even if that were true, they'd still know a whole, whole, whole heck of a lot that you ever will even if you loved your lie a thousand times over.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Shalisa

      Scientists don't talk about truth. They talk about the provisional knowledge...which can always be changed with new data. That is the difference between science and religion. Religion has dogma and a preconceived notion of reality...that no new facts can chance. But science is a self-correcting system over time. With new data, new hypothesis and ideas about reality. That is why our view of the Universe is not the same as it was in 1813 and 1913...and it will be completely different (and a better understanding) by 2113.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      They knew there were 2, and then they found a temporary 3rd. This information does not make the previous information invalid, it does not contradict it in any way; no scientist ever said...'there are 2 and that is all there is or ever will be, no one will ever discover any more'

      March 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  47. Soul Shaker

    I find both sides of this debate equally closed minded. I personally find the the alive universe fascinating. The greatest scientists in history led with their imagination. I am a believer in science but know better than to lock myself inside a brilliant formula. There is always something else on the other side that is beyond your comprehension. Is it possible that one day you will discover that you have been studying the science of the supernatural? I'm agnostic. I don't know.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      True. Actually, anyone who believes in "free will" has already transcended the boundaries of a thoroughgoing naturalism. There's really no avoiding it. As human beings, we all make transcendental leaps of faith. The atheist who believes he's arrived at the "truth" "freely" doesn't even realize he's engaging in transcendental leaps of faith.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • That's the whole point

      The main idea behind science is to take what you know and test it and test it and test it again until you see something you don't know. Then you study that until you can define it and understand it. Some genres of science ask similar questions as religion, but they're not looking for the same asnwer or even looking in the same way. Religion clings to ancient texts and superstiltion while science looks ahead to what's beyond, the unknown. One day science will either prove or disprove the existence(or not) of god. Then there will be no need for religion becuase people will have the answer themselves and the church will be an obsolete conduit to the, the whatever they say they're a conduit to. I'm excited to find out because personally I think organized religion is kinda silly.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  48. Kathleen Burgess

    Ask yourself this question. If your all so smart and have all the answers. In 100 years will anyone even remember you existed at all? Let alone claimed to be so smart and know for 100% fact there is no GOD? I know for a fact that 100 years from now there will still be believers in God.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • MM

      And they would be wrong. What's your point?

      Seriously, your post is nothing but a non sequitur.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Richard

      Yes, ignorance will likely still be in epidemic proportions. And, please, learn the difference between "your" and "you're." It makes you look particularly ignorant when you're indicting the mental capacity of others and so obviously don't know that.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Of course there will be believers in a hundred years. You can't wipe out worldwide ignorance in a century. Though in a hundred years, we will see the fall of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam as we find they are based on historical mistruths. But these religions will just reformat and create something similar and mysterious for deluded people to believe (and pay for).

      March 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Wizard

        I'm sure the equally non-verifiable beliefs of the metaphysical movement will replace all religions.

        March 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Dana

      Unfortunately, there will still be people in 100 years that believe in that nonsense. Believing in something doesn't make it true though.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'I know for a fact that 100 years from now there will still be believers in God.'

      actually you cant make that claim. For all you know we could be wiped out by an asteroid, global plague or nuclear war between now and then. The best you can claim is there is a pretty stronge chance that there will be.

      but at the end of the day the response to your statement is.......and? so what? what does that end up proving in the grand scheme of things?

      March 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • cptwayne

        Religion and believing in God: It helps all of us now, who are alive, to transcend into the future, for the future generations to look back on. The purity of spirit, kindness of heart, forgiveness of sins, does make a better world to live in. Most important, it gives us all hope. The spiritual guidance that is furnished to those believers, truly residing in God's almighty grace, can never be underestimated. Every day I make mistakes. At the end of the day, I ask God for forgiveness and promise I will do better. And now, every day, I see his blessings. "Gracias a Dios por la vida" I offer this prayer, "Pleas God don't give up on Earth and forsake us, so many have not given up on you. "

        March 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • cptwayne

        Religion and believing in God: It helps all of us now, who are alive, to transcend into the future, for the future generations to look back on. The purity of spirit, kindness of heart, forgiveness of sins, does make a better world to live in. Most important, it gives us all hope. The spiritual guidance that is furnished to those believers, truly residing in God's almighty grace, can never be underestimated. Every day I make mistakes. At the end of the day, I ask God for forgiveness and promise I will do better. And now, every day, I see his blessings. "Gracias a Dios por la vida" I offer this prayer, "Please God don't give up on Earth and forsake us, so many have not given up on you. "

        March 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  49. Anonymous

    Would anyone like to actually talk about, you know, the article?

    March 9, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      I'd rather discuss God. Popular science is so often simplistic and cartoon-like. Really, there's far more scientism than real science on this blog.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • Tony

        Would you boring mono-maniacs post your inane comments on a religious web site or blog? This is a purely scientific article. Do you really think your going to convert people with your comments?

        March 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Tony, I encourage you to ignore Carl – If you read through all the comments, you'll see that he's actually been making deliberately inflammatory posts on both "sides" of the argument. He's not a mono-anybody, he's just here to start trouble.

        March 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • Dana

        You are confusing real scientific fact with imaginary religious nonsense.

        March 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  50. Mark

    Is this the so-called "Fukushima Belt"?

    March 9, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  51. palintwit

    Here's what Europeans think of Sarah Palin...

    "If anything is a threat to the national security of the United States of America, it is this screaming, unrefined oaf with as much class as a searing release of flatulence followed by hysterical giggling at a state banquet. Is this what the people of the USA deserve?

    To attack the President of the country at a time when the USA needs to close ranks and stand together to consolidate the enormous strides his intelligent and respectful approach has achieved in building bridges, when her party's period in government bombed them, Sarah Palin comes across as a pitifully inadequate anachronism from the times of the Far West.

    The United States of America has evolved. She has not."

    March 9, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Dean100343

      Boy, then they must really think we are idiots for selecting the Obamas.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • palintwit

        Read the second paragraph again, slowly this time.

        March 9, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Anonymous

      WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE VAN ALLEN BELTS???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      March 9, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  52. Kris

    It is amazing to me that we see so much order in a universe born from chaos and chance. Everything lines up. Galaxies form and don't spin apart. Protective areas surrounding planets to ensure life. Sounds like there is something more to this universe than just chance.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      Yes, Kris, it would seem that there's something more at work than mere chance, but what an atheist and thoroughgoing naturalist would be quick to tell you is that if everything didn't line up just right, then we wouldn't be here to question it. But you're correct. I've never won the lottery once, let alone one hundred times in a row.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • vj

        Yeah but those atheists dont know that DNA doesnt evolve into new information (especially from inorganic material). It gets more specific. Hence natural selection, and the failures of guys like Miller/Urey to produce life in the lab. Its a fine-tuned universe governed by unchanging laws of physics, and randomness is not the answer.

        March 9, 2013 at 11:22 am |
      • dipstick

        Play the lottery a few billion times and you will have won hundreds of times. How many stars are there? Billions of billions. It now appears that planets outnumber stars in the universe.

        March 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • vj

      You got it buddy. Keep spreading the truth.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • jefflazrn

      There definitely is. Ever hear of God???

      March 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Dana

        Just because you don't know how something happened doesn't mean that your imaginary friend did it.

        March 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Dana

      There must be an invisible guy in the sky holding everything together with some really long strings. There is no other possible explanation.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  53. samuel.davs god is real.. no my god is real god is real.. no my god is real god is real.. no my god is real god is real.. no my god is real god is real.. no my god is real

    March 9, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Tony

      What a clever post....NOT

      March 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  54. Chris

    I feel pity for the atheist/agnostics out there hanging their hat on science alone.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Tony

      This was simply a scientific article, remember? Why do you bible thumpers have to get so defensive about this. The article does not challenge religious belief. It simply describes a study of the Van Allen belt.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Dana

      We feel sorry for you. Keep up that false hope. It is doing wonders for you.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  55. Tres

    belief in a god is out of fear not logic or fact.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Derp

      Your assertion is just as ridiculous as you claim theirs is. How silly.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • MM

      Not for belief is out of my experience in life; the things that happened that cannot be explained by science alone. No fear here. Just love, amazement and awe. Yes, God is an awesome God who has allowed man to experience his creations through science.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:50 am |
      • bannister

        Well said. Like yourself, I don't think there needs to be any conflict between God and science. If there is a God – then science is simply the study of his creation.

        March 10, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  56. Jon

    Hey! Get off my lawn!

    March 9, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  57. Cal Newlan

    I don't believe in atheists.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • samuel.davs

      Than I feel sorry for you

      March 9, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • MM

      That's kind of like saying you don't believe in women, or black people. That makes you a fool, because atheists exist.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Dana

      I don't believe you could be that dumb.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Shane

      Thats fine, don't believe in them.

      But the existence of Atheism is testable, and verifiable. Just as the existence of Christians. Its the existence of God that isn't really testable or verifiable.

      March 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  58. Buzzed Aldrin

    Oh really. You'd think the "astronauts" would have discovered it when they supposedly flew through it on their way to the moon. What a joke!

    March 9, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Jim Weix

      Yes, I'm sure that there was a sign posted telling them about it.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Organic1

      It's really not colored like the picture, they did that so we could see where they are more or less. Make sure your aluminum foil is tight and no hanging chad is visible.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:44 am |
      • Cal Newlan

        Must you use the term "colored"?

        March 9, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Observer

      It appeared recently and disappeared just as quickly, because the solar system, or maybe even the galaxy is going in to a new cycle. This maybe a normal occurrence every few hundred thousand years or whatever. I willing to bet its the real cause for global warming, and the reason the government is preparing for civil unrest. eyes open.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  59. Dan

    Typical science fanatics, spouting their bizarre religion of macro evolution and Darwinism.

    These people are used car salesman. They teach children that they know how the universe "accidentally" came to be. They teach children that they know what's going on thousands of light years away.

    Yet – they don't even know what's in their own backyard.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • me

      I don't know if your being sarcastic or serious...

      March 9, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • 5010anthony

      God created man. Man created religion.
      Humankind is to selfish to do the right thing,
      So many religions and only one God.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  60. Space Camp

    One belt to rule them all.......

    March 9, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  61. Jon

    Articles like this always lead to comments that devolve into religious debate. Any new scientific discovery that is made, you see the same things: "Aghhh! Words I don't understand!!! Well... God did it."

    Its sad, really. The good news is that as time goes by, the numbers of the science-denying fundamentalists continue to dwindle.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Primewonk

      46% of adults in the US believe a magical sky daddy created humans in their present form less than 10,000 years ago.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      Your inverse relationship between religiosity and scientific understanding hypothesis is far too simplistic. Deep down, you'll always be "little Jon, bed wetter."

      March 9, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • vikkk

        While I agree his comment was simplistic, you reply was silly and childish.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • steven harnack

        I'd say that the people who need the fear of some kind of divine retribution to scare them into treating their fellow men humanely (and you are evidence that even that doesn't work) would be the one's that were more likely to foul their own nest. You are such a good example of the christian mindset that I'm sure that many more will reject it.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bob1god

      You go dude!

      March 9, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Jim Weix

      Belief in a Higher Power and science is no problem. One can believe that a Higher Power created a unique Earth. The stupid beliefs, like the earth is only a few 1,000 years old, there is no such thing as evolution, etc. are simply man made stories. Simple minds like simple beliefs, because they don't require thinking.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • steven harnack

        Once you buy into the first simple man made story about some deity or other then you might as well swallow the whole thing because after that it's like saying that you believe Star Wars is real but you just can't accept Chewbaca.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • me

        Star Wars isn't...real...? I mean if the universe...or multiverse is so really think you can claim such a thing such as the nonexistence of a galaxy far far away?

        March 9, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  62. Primewonk

    Why do people who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science come onto science threads and demonstrate that ignorance for all to see?

    And why have this bizarre need to post inane religious drivel on science threads? Do we burst into your churches and yell out, "A Calabi–Yau n-fold or Calabi–Yau manifold of (complex) dimension n is sometimes defined as a compact n-dimensional Kähler manifold M satisfying one of the following equivalent conditions:

    The canonical bundle of M is trivial.
    M has a holomorphic n-form that vanishes nowhere.
    The structure group of M can be reduced from U(n) to SU(n).
    M has a Kähler metric with global holonomy contained in SU(n)."?

    March 9, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Jarrod

      hahahaha I like this guy.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Stephen Daedalus

      One time I did run through a tent revival, stark naked holding my junk screaming, "Can you see my Klein Bottle?!"

      March 9, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Soul Shaker

      I find both sides of this debate equally closed minded. I personally find the the alive universe fascinating. The greatest scientists in history led with their imagination. I am a believer in science but know better than to lock myself inside a brilliant formula. There is always something else on the other side that is beyond your comprehension. Is it possible that one day you will discover that you have been studying the science of the supernatural? I'm agnostic. I don't know

      March 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • MM

        "Is it possible that one day you will discover that you have been studying the science of the supernatural?"

        No. Because if you can study it, by definition, it isn't supernatural.

        March 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  63. Neil Armstrong

    More proof of global climate change if I ever heard it.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  64. TheAntiChrist

    Then all this will happen again and again and again and again.........

    March 9, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  65. Cal Newlan

    You can thank God for the protective radiation belts.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Primewonk

      Or we can choose to understand the science involved.

      No thanks needed. No gods needed.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Bob1god

      You are welcome!

      March 9, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • MM

      When God shows up personally, we can thank him then.

      And ya know, we've been a long time for that.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Dave

        He just did – I believe he posted right before you did.

        March 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dana

      Stop leaning on your crutch. Wouldn't you rather know why they are really there?

      March 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Петър Търмъка

      And the GOP too!

      March 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  66. Tesla

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the large hadron collider...

    March 9, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Primewonk

      No. Why would wonder about this?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  67. Chuck

    -well put Eric, we'll all realize soon enough.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  68. OrganicManLives_N_anOraganicUNiverSE

    I'm not surprised

    March 9, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  69. Eric

    Do people still believe that this amount of amazing design and utterly perfection in the workings of the earth came about by chance? It's mankind who questioned God's right to rule – that quesiton will be answered, man is failing hard and at some point God will bring back his intended perfection to mankind. Seek the truth people, open your minds to whatever the truth is. There can only be one right answer, one truth.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • mattski

      There is only one truth, but there are lots of beliefs. Perhaps we should all open our minds?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • Bob Knippel

        Profound statement.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Jara

      Yes..... One Truth.... and its not god....

      March 9, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Bob Knippel

      Oh, how much easier it is to fail to see there is no need for a God in physics, that the universe popped into existence out of nothing, and deflect the lack of understanding by passing it all off as the creation of a being who always existed. Well, my friend, where did God come from? Mankind needs a God to satisfy his vanity, for accepting the reality that he exists and is no more or less than a flea is too hard to swallow for most.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • yon

      Yes, One truth and it is called science.
      Spinning molten iron core= magnetic field/ N-S poles magnetic field lines trap charged ionized particles (e-, p+)/ formation of stable trapping regions (belts) as funtion of particles Energy/momentum.
      You see all about science...
      BTW if you want to be really picky, we always had 3 radiation belts (at least as far as we started detecting them): one proton belt, and 2 electron belts. We have alredy experienced transient belt formation/radiation belt pumping when we performed exo-atmospheric nuclear tests in the 60s.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Jarrod

      Hey! I read your post and although I respect your opinion I do have to point out that "Chance" is a media used term to describe a most theories in science since they do not understand the actual details of the testable theories. The Big Bang is a theory, God is a theory and so is the theory of Evolution. This is a big misconception in the world today that leads to this whole "Creation vs Design" argument. No scientist in their right mind believes that it happened by chance. That being said though if this universe was created then the creator did a beautiful job and that we can all agree.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Primewonk

        "God is a theory"

        God is not a theory. Beliefs in supernatural beings is an opinion unsubstantiated by facts or evidence.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:45 am |
      • Shane

        A theory is testable. You cannot test for an omniscient being, therefore, no God is not a theory.

        God is an unscientific explanation for ignorance.

        March 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Humans have invented tens of thousands of gods in the 200,000 years we have been modern humans. Your version of a god was cobbled together from various minor deities worshipped by various nomadic bronze-age tribes in the Middle East 6,000 years ago. Your god is no more, nor no less special or real, than any of the thousands of others.


      March 9, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Jarrod

        Actually dude.. as an atheist I will just be completely blunt... God is a theory. Whether you want to believe that or not. He is considered a theory requiring testable data for proof of his existence. So far there is none but a book and the faith felt by a couple billion people.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Primewonk

        No Jarrod, god is not a theory. Theories are scientific explanations of sets of facts and laws. Any god worth his or salt claims supernatural powers, thus science doesn't give a rats ass about it.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Bob1god

        God is a concept by which we measure our pain! J.L.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Hah

      It's not perfect.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  70. Jay in NC

    Should it surprise us that our belt is bigger than we thought.

    March 9, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  71. Raven

    Took a heck of an engineer to think that protective scheme up.
    Oh wait. it was from an exploding ball of goop in the nothingsphere.

    March 9, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Jarrod

      Please educate yourself with multiple books... not the internet. You will come to realize that is not what the Big Bang theory states. The Big Bang theory states that the laws of physics in our universe were defined during the big bang and that the laws of physics do not apply or work in a model from before. What people seem to forget is that we have only really had our big science boom in the last 150 years or so from the introduction of technology. So just because the answer hasn't been found in your lifetime does not mean it will not be found. Or better yet, just because we do not recognize the answers does not mean they are not staring us in the face. Ex. Einstein theorizing that the sun bends the space time it sits on causing the planets in our solar system to rotate around it. People said NOOOO that is impossible. They did not want to believe this because the idea that we are rolling around in an invisible fabric does not make sense to our 5 senses. Well we found out that he was right.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      Who said everything exploded from a ball of goop into nothingness?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • Jarrod

        No one... ever...

        March 9, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Name*Stephen Smith

        Why would we doubt Gods existence when see that we are in his garden . You see we never left the garden . I propose that we go find our fathers and mothers in the Heavens on space ship earth . Now that is the way we could stop the needless destruction of his gift he gives to us all. we could move a mountain or a planet and go to Heaven and touch the face of God.
        I believe we had better get our house in order before he sees the mess we have made.

        March 9, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Me

      No, scientists believe nothing created something from nothing. It just happened to also creates layers of protection..

      March 10, 2013 at 8:35 am |


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