Van Allen radiation belt

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From James Alfred Van Allen, US physicist.

Noun[edit]

Van Allen radiation belt (plural Van Allen radiation belts)

  1. (astronomy, physics) Either of two torus-shaped areas of high-energy charged particles which partly surround Earth, trapped by its magnetic field. The areas are characterised by intense radiation. When the belts "overload", particles strike the upper atmosphere and fluoresce, causing the polar aurora.

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