Thursday, February 22

On Cupid! On, Donner and BARREL!

Monika Luabeya

Dec 22, 2023

In this image from Dec. 8, 2017, 4 reindeer walk past the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses, or BARREL, payload on the launch pad at Esrange Space Center near Kiruna, Sweden. BARREL mainly determined X-rays in Earth’s environment near the North and South Poles. These X-rays are brought on by electrons that drizzle down, or speed up, into the environment from the huge swaths of radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen Belts. Comprehending this radiation and its interaction with Earth’s environment assists us to discover planetary radiation belts, and to much better secure satellites that orbit Earth.

The main BARREL objective ended when researchers sent their last balloon over Sweden on Aug. 30, 2016. Recuperated BARREL payloads were released as targets of chances on 3 extra flights. In addition to X-ray instruments, numerous of the BARREL balloons likewise brought instruments constructed by undergraduate trainees to determine the overall electron material of Earth’s ionosphere, in addition to the low-frequency electro-magnetic waves that assist to spread electrons into Earth’s environment.

See more images from the BARREL objective.

Image Credit: NASA

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