(Image: Saturn’s radiation belts, Credit: NASA / JPL / APL)

Despite the fact that planetary magnetic fields provide shelter against deadly solar radiation, they are also accompanied with radiation belts, an item some would consider a mixed blessing.

While Earth, Callisto and Titan comprise the three major radiation safe worlds (at least when it comes to raising kids), two other icy worlds–Dione and Rhea–join the list as they orbit beyond Saturn’s radiation belts (and within its magnetic field).

Hopefully as technology improves (especially when it comes to building radiation resistant habitats), Saturn’s other icy worlds will be safe enough for future colonists to establish outposts upon–without the fear of contracting cancer due to radiation exposure.

Although most of Saturn’s residents will probably raise their kids upon Titan (because of its higher gravity), Dione and Rhea will probably attract a significant population due to its access to view the stars above (not to mention Saturn as well).

Update (7/21): Fixed excel sheet embedding code.

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