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RBSP: What Are The Radiation Belts?

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Published on Aug 22, 2012

When we look into the night sky, we see the moon, stars, and satellites -- and even other worlds.

What we don't see are two regions located just above our planet where powerful energized particles from space and our sun are trapped and formed into rings by Earth's magnetic field.

NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes will, for the first time, allow scientists to use two spacecraft to learn how the belts change over space and time. RBSP will let scientists answer questions surrounding the belts that have existed since their discovery more than half a century ago.

RBSP is part of NASA's Living With a Star Program to explore aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. LWS is managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. APL built the RBSP spacecraft and will manage the mission for NASA.

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