Van Allen radiation beltVan Al·len radiation belt
Origin of Van Allen radiation beltafter James A. Van Allen (1914-2006), United States physicist
(plural Van Allen radiation belts)
- (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.
From James Alfred Van Allen, US physicist.