Van Allen Belts

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What are the Van Allen Belts?

The Van Allen Belts are two doughnut shaped rings of spiralling, high energy particles, situated high above the Earth's equatorial region.

Who are the Van Allen Belts named after?

They are named after the American phsicist, Dr. James A. Van Allen who lead the University of Iowa team that were responsible for their discovery.

What does the inner radiation belt consist of?

The inner radiation belt is compact and consists mainly of high energy protons, which were formed from collisions between cosmic rays and atoms in the atmosphere.

What does the outer radiation belt consist of?

The diffuse outer belt is more dynamic, and consists mainly of electrons and other charged particles emitted by the Sun as a result of increased solar activity. This belt is wider than the outer belt and it looks as if it has horns that dip sharply into the Earth's magnetic…


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