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About Saturn & Its Moons

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Magnetosphere - Recent Discoveries - New Radiation Belt

Thanks to its Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) Cassini is the first planetary mission that can "image" a magnetosphere by detecting energetic neutral atoms created by charge transfer. Data from this instrument has already brought to light an exciting discovery: the existence of a radiation belt inside Saturn's innermost ring, the D-ring.

This new radiation belt (similar to the Van Allen radiation belt at Earth) is a torus -- a doughnut-shaped surface -- of trapped energetic charged particles probably produced by radiation impacting the rings.