This image shows a particle bouncing back and forth from one pole of the Earth to the other.
Movie adapted from original clips provided courtesy of Professor Patricia Reiff, Rice University, Connections Program.
Basic Facts About Bounce Motion
Not only do particles spiral around magnetic field lines but they also move along the field lines toward the Earth. The crowded magnetic field lines near the poles cause particles to "reflect" and move back the same direction the from which they came. They bounce back and forth between reflection points in each hemisphere. Only a small portion of these particle penetrate into the lower atmosphere.
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