- Elizabeth HLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Van Allen radiation belt is a torus of energetic charged particles (i.e. a 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 prior to the Space Age and the belt's presence was confirmed by the Explorer I on January 31, 1958 and Explorer III missions, under Doctor James Van Allen.
- 1 decade ago
The Van Allen belts(circles) are two rings of charged particles encircling the earth. They contain trapped cosmic rays,which are high-energy particles that constantly flow out from the sun in all directions, bombarding the Earth in the process. Most cosmic rays are high-speed protons, although they also include the nuclei of all known elements .As cosmic rays approach the Earth's magnetosphere , they become trapped and spiral around the lines of the Earth's magnetic field. They are led away from Earth's equator and shuffled back and forth between two magnetics poles.
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