Earth  Sun  ID: 3052

Earth's Radiation Belts with Safe Zone Orbit

Spacecraft orbiting in the 'Safe Zone', between two and three Earth radii, can be subjected to high levels of harmful radiation as the radiation belts fluctuate in response to space weather events.

NOTE: This visualization shows the Earth's magnetic dipole field lines rotating rigidly with the Earth. Technically, this is inaccurate. Ions and electrons in the lower atmosphere can create currents which can make these lines 'drag' with Earth's rotation, but this will occur mostly near the Earth and not higher up. More details on this process can be found in the FAQ at the The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere web site, Does the Earth's magnetic field rotate?.

Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
James W. Williams (GST): Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Daniel Baker (LASP): Scientist
Shrikanth G. Kanekal (NOAA): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Solar Anomalous and Magnetospherice Particle Explorer (SAMPEX)

Data Used:
Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX)/PET
2003/10/17 - 2003/12/25
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Halloween 2003 Solar Storms Revisited

Goddard TV Tape:

SVS >> Geomagnetic Field
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> Radiation Belts
SVS >> Space Weather
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun