View Full Version : Van Allen Belts

2004-Jan-13, 01:41 AM
Okay, I have seen the term 'Van Allen Belts' been bantered around everywhere...can someone please give me a succint meaning of what they and what are their purpose?

Also do other planets have Van Allen Belts or something similar?

2004-Jan-13, 02:07 AM

The source of the above map (http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~mjuric/universe/p5.100.gif), From this article (http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~mjuric/universe/)

Jupiter's radiation belts (http://www.atnf.csiro.au/news/results/95Highlights_3-DJupiter.html)


As I understand the Van Allen Belts (Named after there DiscovererJames A. Van Allen (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/sputnik/vanallen.html)) they are captured particles from the Sun, caught in the Earths Magnetic Feild.
The Van Allen Belts (http://lasp.colorado.edu/strv/vanallen_strv.html)

I guess any planet with a magnetic feild could catch radiation in similar fasion, I only know of one other planet that speaks radiation, Juipiters Radiation feild can be heard from earth.
Captain's Space (http://www.captain.at/radio/index.php?p=jupradio)

2004-Jan-13, 02:09 AM
Van Allen Belts are formed by the Earth's magnetic field. So there is a chance that other planet have something similar.

2004-Jan-13, 02:11 AM
so is it possible for even a small planet like Mercury to possess one, even if it were tenuous?

2004-Jan-13, 02:17 AM
I always thought Van Allen Belts were supposed to hold up Van Allen Pants.

Live and learn.

2004-Jan-13, 02:21 AM
ah so that explains the eternal moon -ing thorn...:lol:

2004-Jan-13, 04:31 AM
This train of though raises all kinds of interesting questions, damienpaul.

For instance, since both Saturn and Jupiter have rings, does that mean they're engaged?

Enquiring minds want to know!

2004-Jan-13, 04:41 AM
yes, and what could be said about the ring around Uranus??? :lol:

However, getting back to the Van Allen Belts around other planets, the Gas Giants would certainly have them as shown in Zephyr's posting... Earth has one, but what of the other terrestrial planets?

2004-Jan-14, 05:07 AM
Not directly related to the Van Allen Belts, but the Magnetic North Pole (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/29dec_magneticfield.htm?list842362), a story from NASA.

I haven't heard about any other terrestrial radiation belts. I think Mars has little to no internal activity to drive the dynamo that results in the magnetosphere. Same, strangely for Venus. All the heat seems to exist at the surface, no molten cores.

Interesting in regards to the formation of the solar system, it would suggest the Earth is younger than Venus. Mars, being further from the sun could have, understandably cooled faster than the Earth, being smaller and further away, but Venus ?? Any Planatary geologists want to enlighten this topic?

2004-Jan-15, 09:44 AM
In that article - what a mess it would make of the Van Allen belts...hmmm could that apply to Mercury?

2004-Jan-16, 03:40 AM
I have heard of a tenuous atmosphere on mercury, but more about one being blasted away by the solar wind. The radical temperature difference between day and night and ( 58 earth days to an 87 earth day year )

Here we go Mercury at solar veiws (http://www.solarviews.com/eng/mercury.htm)

2004-Mar-19, 04:04 AM
PysicsWeb (http://physicsweb.org/article/news/8/3/6/1) article about the magnetic feilds of planets in the solar system. In particluar Uranos and Neptune.

The Atmosphere (http://www.mdstud.chalmers.se/~md5mike/projekt/planet/atmosphere.html), with some layers I hadn't heard of before;

The ozonosphere
The neutrosphere
The ionosphere
The chemosphere
The exosphere

2004-Mar-19, 06:49 AM
Speaking of Uranus....

My colleagues and I were rather hoping that they would name that new planetiod thing "Urpenus" because, face it, there's just not enough stupid giggling in science classes when the topic turns to astronomy.