The map of the sky – read more

PAMELA has studied the radiation environment along the orbit with a good accuracy. Until December 2010 when the orbit of the satellite was elliptical, with precession effect, PAMELA performed a detailed 3-dimensional (latitude, longitude, altitude) mapping of the Van Allen Belts between 350 and 610 km, highlighting spectral and geometrical features. 

Figure 1 shows a map of the measured radiation environment. The high latitude electron radiation belt and the proton belt in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) are clearly visible.

Figure 2 shows the particle flux measured at different latitudes, expressed in GV. The contribution of the galactic proton cosmic rays and the contribution of protons produced in the interaction of primary particles with the atmosphere (sub-cutoff protons) are clearly distinguished.