James Van Allen 1914 - 2006
August 9, 2006 3:48 PM   Subscribe

James Van Allen the discoverer of the Van Allen Radiation Belts died today, aged 91.
posted by hardcode (20 comments total)
and good riddance.

i mean,

posted by quonsar at 3:52 PM on August 9, 2006

posted by pwb503 at 4:01 PM on August 9, 2006

The mere fact that he didn't make it to the moon helps prove THAT IT CAN'T BE DONE!

Sleep well, James. You've always been one of my favorite researchers.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:02 PM on August 9, 2006

....oooOOO)))   .
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on August 9, 2006

I loved him on Dawson's Creek.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:11 PM on August 9, 2006

Great. Now we can finally get to the moon!
posted by pmbuko at 5:02 PM on August 9, 2006

I saw my first aurora borealis from the roof of Van Allen Hall.

posted by dirigibleman at 5:08 PM on August 9, 2006

I, too, have fond memories of my Astronomy classes in Van Allen Hall, and of making the discovery that, "Oh sure, Van Allen belts, wait... a professor? Here? In Iowa?"

posted by idigress at 5:18 PM on August 9, 2006

Actually he was the inventor. Easy mistake to make, like saying Archimedes discovered the Archimedes Screw. Or Hailey discovered a comet. Just silly really.
posted by econous at 5:22 PM on August 9, 2006

Make it three Hawkeyes. Van Allen Hall represent!
posted by Arch_Stanton at 6:02 PM on August 9, 2006

Four Hawkeyes!

Van Allen was a really neat guy.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:14 PM on August 9, 2006

I attended a lecture he gave in the late 70's. I was still in High School, and after the lecture a few of us went up to talk to him, and he invited us to ice cream - walked with us, and bought us all ice cream. A truly humble great mind.
posted by Aspie at 7:23 PM on August 9, 2006

All of five feet long and six inches in diameter, Explorer I became America's first artificial moon on January 31, 1958. The instrumentation designed and built by Van Allen and his students worked perfectly: fortunately they had a little experience to build on.
posted by cenoxo at 7:31 PM on August 9, 2006

posted by Schlimmbesserung at 8:37 PM on August 9, 2006

Van Allen Radiation Belt....

I just like saying it.

posted by quite unimportant at 2:37 AM on August 10, 2006

There's a moon in the sky
It's called the moon
And everybody is there, including,
Saturn, Mercury
Saturn, Venus
Saturn, Mars
Saturn, Jupiter
The Van Allen Belt


Many gamma rays around it
Van Allen Belt surrounds it
This is the Space Age
Please don't worry
This is the Space Age
Just don't worry
This is the Space Age
Others like you
Ahhh ahhh..........
posted by jdfan at 6:28 AM on August 10, 2006

"And well, it starts like this -- it starts like this: I was up in the Van Allen belt -- this is factual, and I don't know why they're scared of the Van Allen belt, because it's simply hot. You'd be surprised how warm space is. Get down amongst the clouds and so forth, it can get pretty cold and damp. But you get well up and sunlight shining around and that sort of thing, it's quite hot. And the Van Allen belt was radioactively hot. A lot of photons get trapped in that area and so forth. And I was up there watching the sunrise. Well, that was very interesting. And my perception was very good, and I was taking a look at Norway and Essex and the places around, you know, and getting myself sort of oriented. And then something happened to me that I didn't know quite what had happened to me. I thought some facsimiles must have appeared in front of me, but they didn't look like facsimiles. And some other things happened and I had a feeling like I might possibly go into the sun. And a few other little uncomfortablenesses there where... That wasn't what awed me. But I got confused. I got confused because the sun was suddenly larger and then it was smaller and somehow or another I was doing a change of space process that I myself was not familiar with. And it made me sort of bite off my thetan fingernails just a little bit, you know?"

-L. Ron Hubbard
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:02 AM on August 10, 2006


Nice scientists are cool.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2006

posted by Megafly at 11:09 AM on August 10, 2006

Six hawkeyes.

Loved seeing Van Allen meandering about the building. I don't think he ever retired.

posted by anomie at 6:22 AM on August 11, 2006

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