Radiation Belts

Like Earth, Jupiter possesses a system of radiation belts that function in much the same way. However, it was not known initially whether the radiation belt was a single belt or multiple belts.

The Galileo atmospheric probe carried an energetic particle instrument used to measure the fluxes of electrons, protons, helium nuclei, and heavy ions in the electromagnetic environment. Once the probe was inside Io's orbit, it started its energetic particles sampling. Scientists had expected the region inside the orbit of Jupiter's rings to be quiet. However, at a distance from Jupiter of 50,000 km, the probe detected a belt of intense radiation with a particle density ten times stronger than Earth's Van Allen Belts! The radiation intensities measured by the probe on its way in clearly indicated the presence of two distinct radiation belts, the inner of which had not been previously known [228].

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