Van Allen Radiation Belts: 21 Fun Facts

An artist’s depiction with cutaway section of the two giant donuts of radiation, called the Van Allen Belts, that surround Earth. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Scientific Visualization Studio

Radiation Belts — Fun Facts

Two radiation belts filled with electrons and charged particles surround Earth. The inner one is fairly stable, but the outer one swells and shrinks over time.
The radiation belts look like two giant donuts. Earth sits at the center of the “donut hole.”
When the inner belt swells, this region of dangerous radiation expands to include the orbits of the International Space Station and many …