Earth  Sun  ID: 3951

The Van Allen Probes (formerly Radiation Belt Storm Probes - RBSP) Explore the Earth's Radiation Belts

The Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) is actually two satellites that will travel on a elliptical orbit around the Earth, ranging between 1.5 and 6 Earth radii. This range covers the inner region of the Earth's geomagnetic field.

In this region, many of the magnetic field lines intersect the surface of the Earth in the north and south. This means that lower energy ions and electrons, some 'boiled off' the Earth's ionosphere by solar ultraviolet radiation, can be trapped along these field lines. The charged particles spend their time bouncing between the 'mirror points' in the Earth's magnetic field. This trapped population forms the radiation belts around the Earth. The radiation created by this charged particle population can be hazardous to satellites and astronauts so it is important to understand their characteristics.



Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Genna Duberstein (USRA): Producer
David G. Sibeck (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Shrikanth G. Kanekal (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Radiation Belt Storm Probes/Van Allen Probes - RBSP
Solar Anomalous and Magnetospherice Particle Explorer (SAMPEX)
Van Allen Probes

Data Used:
Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX)/HILT
2012-09-07 to 2012-11-21
SSCweb also referred to as: SSCweb ephemerides
Ephemeris - NASA/GSFC Space Physics Data Facility
Satellite ephemerides
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:
Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) Pre-Launch

SVS >> Geomagnetic Field
SVS >> Magnetic Fields
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
SVS >> Radiation Belts
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Satellite Orbit
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Van Allen Probes

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version