Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Earth appears to be shrouded by a ring of Anti- Protons

The Earth appears to be shrouded by a ring of Anti- Protons that have become trapped in the Earths’ magnetic field.
Charged particles called cosmic rays constantly rain in from space, creating a spray of new particles – including antiparticles – when they collide with particles in the atmosphere.
Many of these become trapped inside the Van Allen radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped zones around ...the planet where charged particles spiral around the Earth’s magnetic field lines.
Alessandro Bruno, another team member from Bari, says antimatter in the Earth’s radiation belts might one day be useful for fuelling spacecraft.

Future rockets could be powered by the reaction between matter and antimatter, a reaction that produces energy even more efficiently than nuclear fusion in the sun’s core. “This is the most abundant source of antiprotons near the Earth,” says Bruno. “Who knows, one day a spacecraft could launch then refuel in the inner radiation belt before travelling further.”

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