Electron Acceleration within Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belts (image) DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory Share Print E-Mail Caption An artist's rendering of a mechanism within the Van Allen radiation belts that can accelerate electrons to satellite-killing energies. The mechanism was discovered by a group of scientists using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes (formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes). Researchers, led by Los Alamos National laboratory space physicist Geoffrey Reeves, believe that electromagnetic waves within the Van Allen belts themselves can accelerate the electrons to near light speed, giving them energy levels that can be lethal to satellites. The research may some day help make space weather forecasting possible and accurate so satellites can be better protected. Credit Los Alamos National Laboratory Usage Restrictions Image must be accompanied with the following text: "Image credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory" Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.