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Van Allen Radiation Belts

  1. Jul 8, 2004 #1
    the radiation belts consist of electrons and protons that are trapped in a doughnut-shaped region centered around the magnetic equator.This region extends from a few hundred kilometers above the earth to 48,000 to 64,000 km (30,000 to 40,000 mi).
    The electrons and protons are supplied by cosmic rays and by the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles—mainly electrons and protons—emanating from the sun.
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    The question here is why the position of the proton is in lower region compare to electron? Is this because of the mass difference?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2004 #2
    I'd say that is because the protons of the inner belt are cosmic rays that collide against the magnetic field of earth, and you know that cosmic rays are superenergetic, so they have more capability of penetration that the electrons of the outer belt, that are just plasma captured by the Earth magnetosphere
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