Looking most specifically regarding the moons around Saturn, Jupiter, and Uranus. I've been unable to get a concrete answer on this through various sources. I've actually read several articles briefly mentioning the exact opposites - some say the side facing the planet receives the most radiation, while the others claim it's the side facing away from the planet. Anyone have an answer?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Dave! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox (both of which require 5 rep to post on) useful. Here is a meta post on the culture and style of Worldbuilding.SE, just to help you understand our scope and methods. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – FoxElemental Jul 13 '18 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ Hey, would you mind maybe linking to some of the articles you found, just so we have a better idea of the context here? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jul 13 '18 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I can't find them in my history, but they were mostly from space.com, a few answers which mentioned it on here, and some pages on the NASA website (which is great but not always thorough). $\endgroup$ – Kabob Maraca Jul 13 '18 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ What kind of radiation? Large planets would be a source of some types, while shielding from other types. The answer is going to be different depending on whether we're talking about alpha, beta, gamma, what energies, etc etc. $\endgroup$ – Gene Jul 13 '18 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Looking for any and all radiation - cumulative amounts from all sources would be ideal. Conceptually, I'm working on the viability of moon-based colonies, both in the realms of survival for individual colonists and the amounts/effects of radiation on commercial traffic. $\endgroup$ – Kabob Maraca Jul 15 '18 at 18:16

The Planet Side.

The gas giants emit radiation. A tidally locked moon would be the only side receiving that emitted radiation. Both sides, somewhat equally, would receive radiation from the Sun. The anti-planet-side would receive slightly more interstellar radiation, which is significantly less than from the Sun or the planet.

So, the planet side would experience the higher amount of radiation in total.

This is the general case. In certain cases, like for Europa, the radiation is lower on the side of its direction of orbit.

The radiation belts are rotating around Jupiter faster than Europa does. This results in the radiation predominantly striking the trailing hemisphere of the moon—which is always the same portion of the moon since Europa is locked in a synchronous orbit around Jupiter.

If you're willing to split into quadrants, then the leading-planet-side-quadrant is lowest, for Europa at least.

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  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't there be a north-south pattern as well? I mean, the planet's magnetic field should drive charged particles along the field lines. Not sure if possible, but if one type of charge dominates (e.g., electrons over protons), the corresponding hemisphere should receive more (isn't that the reason why Aurora Borealis is stronger than Australis?) $\endgroup$ – Rafael Jul 13 '18 at 20:13

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