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Record 1 2010-06-08


Subject field(s)
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Space Physics

[One of the] two concentric, toroid (or donut-shaped) regions of stably trapped charged particles [mostly protons] that exist because the geomagnetic field near the Earth is strong and field lines are closed.


The Inner Belt has a maximum proton density near 5,000 km above the Earth's surface, and contains mostly high energy protons produced by cosmic ray collisions with the Earth's upper atmosphere.


A small but very intense "inner belt" (some call it "The Van Allen Belt" because it was discovered in 1958 by James Van Allen of the University of Iowa) is trapped within 4000 miles or so of the Earth's surface. It consists mainly of high-energy protons (10-50 MeV) and is a by-product of the cosmic radiation, a thin drizzle of very fast protons and nuclei which apparently fill all our galaxy.


The term "Van Allen belt" is sometimes used to describe the "inner belt", it is rarely used to describe the "outer belt."

Key term(s)
  • Van Allen radiation belt


  • Géophysique
  • Physique de l'atmosphère
  • Physique spatiale

La Terre est entourée de deux zones dans lesquelles le rayonnement est particulièrement intense : la «ceinture intérieure», ou «ceinture de Van Allen», et la «ceinture extérieure». Ces zones sont dues à une sorte de capture des radiations cosmiques par le champ magnétique terrestre [...]


On a découvert deux ceintures de radiation principales ou ceintures de Van Allen. La ceinture inférieure est composée de protons d'une énergie d'environ 108eV et d'électrons d'une énergie de 20 à 500 KeV. Elle commence à 2 400 et finit à 5 600 km de la Terre et repose entre les latitudes [plus ou moins] 30°.


Campo(s) temático(s)
  • Geofísica
  • Física de la atmósfera
  • Física espacial

cinturónes de Van Allen: Conjunto de dos anillos que rodean el ecuador terrestre, formados por partículas de alta energía retenidas por el campo magnético terrestre.

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