promotion image of download ymail app
Promoted

What is the van allen radiation belt?

i keep hearing about it. what is it? where is it?

3 Answers

Relevance
  • Bill P
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Van Allen Radiation Belt is a torus of energetic charged particles (plasma) around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The Van Allen belts are closely related to the polar aurora where particles strike the upper atmosphere and fluoresce.

    The presence of a radiation belt had been theorized by Nicholas Christofilos prior to the Space Age and was confirmed by the Explorer I on January 31, 1958, and Explorer III missions, under Doctor James Van Allen. The trapped radiation was first mapped out by Sputnik 3, Explorer IV, Pioneer III and Luna 1. The release of fluorohydrocarbons in the upper atmosphere causes a selective absorption of alpha particles in that space. A conglomeration of such (invisible) clouds are called pseudo–Van Allen belts and are 1x10-9 lower than the real Van Allen belts. Recently, the NSF funded 2 competing proposals to study these belts and their effect on the amount of radiation that enters the inner atmosphere of the earth.

    Energetic electrons form two distinct radiation belts, while protons form a single belt. Within these belts are particles capable of penetrating about 1 g/cm2 of shielding (e.g., 1 millimetre of lead).

    The term Van Allen Belts refers specifically to the radiation belts surrounding Earth; however, similar radiation belts have been discovered around other planets. The Sun does not support long-term radiation belts. The Earth's atmosphere limits the belts' particles to regions above 200-1000 km, while the belts do not extend past 7 Earth radii RE. The belts are confined to an area which extends about 65° from the celestial equator.

    Source(s): wikipedia
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    The Van Allen Radiation Belt is a torus of energetic charged particles (plasma) around Earth, trapped by Earth's magnetic field. The Van Allen belts are closely related to the polar aurora where particles strike the upper atmosphere and fluoresce.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    It's particles around the Earth.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.