Magnetic Fields in Space

Why aren’t the Van Allen Belts present around the north and south poles?

At the equator, the magnetic field is parallel to the ground and the electrons and protons from the solar wind can become trapped around the field lines. At the poles, however, the magnetic field strengthens, the lines become closer together, and forces on the particles push them back toward the equator. Some of the most energetic particles are able to penetrate the atmosphere where they interact with oxygen and nitrogen atoms producing the natural light shows that are called auroras.


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