Research report 2021 - Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Cassini sheds new light on the physics of planetary radiation belts

Roussos, Elias; Krupp, Norbert; Christensen, Ulrich
Abteilung Planetenwissenschaften
Planetary radiation belts are those regions near a planet where the intrinsic magnetic field is strong enough to trap energetic charged particles like electrons and protons. In the past processes in the radiation belts of the Earth were thought to be the benchmark for all the other planetary radiation belts in the solar system. However, recently measurements onboard the Cassini spacecraft in the Kronian system have shown that Saturn’s belts are very different compared to Earth. A particle detector built at the MPI for Solar System research (MPS) even discovered a new, formerly unknown belt.

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