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Earth’s Radiation Belts, Essay Example

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The Earth’s radiations belts are comprised of motion of ions and electrons which are constrained by the magnetic field of the Earth. A difficult aspect to comprehend is the ‘sliding mechanism’ that reduces the speed of particles where the magnetic field is at its strongest point; this mechanism may even stop or reverse the particles and in stark contrast to that or iron that is attracted to the strength of the magnet field.

There are two types of radiation belt i.e. An inner belt and an outer belt. The Inner belt or Van Allen belt, named after its’ discoverer, occupies the region that circumnavigates the area above the Equator.  This contains high protons of energy and potentially can be dangerous to astronauts or space vehicles that penetrate this zone.  As such NASA tends to avoid this region.  The outer belt represents the trapped plasma in the atmosphere and these are mainly responsible for the occurrence of magnetic storms.  The spiralling and bouncing effect of these currents is difficult to comprehend but the website explains these by producing diagrams that were taken from the orbit of Pioneers 3 and 4.  Proton energies are also measured in the MEV range and the site provides a link to explanations of MEV energy units and how they function.

The website offers a wealth of well-structured information with easy navigation aids.  It has been designed to provide well informed information to novice readers. Most of the pieces are similar to short scientific blogs and provide basic information on the subject matter under review. There are links and references to more detailed information for those who seek more comprehensive information on the subject matter concerned.  The illustrations produced are of somewhat inferior sketchy quality and could be greatly improved.  Overall it does a good job in terms of making complex subject matter relatively easy to comprehend and understand without getting into advanced physics or astronomic sciences.

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