Rising fluxes of cosmic rays inside the solar system

Divide by Zero

The Living Force
An interesting observation by Suspicious0bservers and the south atlantic anomaly.
Where the poles are moving towards is completely opposite where that anomaly is.
See video:
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
As I understand it, that anomaly exists because the axis between the magnetic poles does not go through the center of the earth but instead is shifted towards New Guinea, leaving a weak spot on the other side.
Here is a nice animation of the change of that anomaly
Map_b_field_evolution.gif
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Obviously, (and thankfully), we have forum members (that have a higher knowledge base), that may want to add corrections if needed.
Since this article is quite dated. TYVM!

Diet May Improve Cognition, Slow Aging, And Protect Against Cosmic Rays
Washington - Nov 10, 2003
Eating certain foods can help protect you from heart disease, some types of cancers and other illnesses. But can your diet also help protect your brain if you should suffer a stroke or accidental head injury? Or keep your thinking and memory skills strong as you age?

Some scientists believe it might. They even think eating the "right" foods --specifically, those high in antioxidants -- may help defend astronauts from brain-damaging cosmic rays on future manned missions to Mars.

New research also suggests that some of the environmental chemicals that have gotten into many of our foods -- through the application of herbicides and insecticides, for example, or from the leaching of plasticizers from plastic food containers -- may be harmful to children.

This is because of the chemicals' effect on reproductive development and their impact on brain areas involved in thinking and learning. Still other studies are beginning to shed some light on the neurological reasons why men tend to have an easier time than women at losing unwanted weight.

"The role of diet in cognitive function is one of the vastly understudied areas in the neurosciences," says Carl W. Cotman, PhD, of the University of California-Irvine. "As these recent studies show, significant new findings are appearing which highlight the importance of this research on diet and cognitive function."

Eating an antioxidant-rich diet may help keep cognitive skills strong during old age, according to a recent animal study conducted at the University of Toronto. "We found that old dogs that were on an antioxidant diet performed better on a variety of cognitive tests than dogs that were not on the diet," says P. Dwight Tapp, PhD, now of the University of California Irvine, "In fact, the dogs eating the antioxidant-fortified foods performed as well as young animals."

Antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), as well as other minerals and compounds found in food. These nutrients have been shown to help reduce oxidation, a process that can cause damage to cells and may contribute to aging, including the reduced cognitive decline that typically develops with age. Studies suggest that antioxidants may also protect against certain cancers, heart disease and other non-neurological age-related diseases.

Tapp and his colleagues used 39 beagles in their current study. Dogs, like humans, develop a range of cognitive impairments as they age. They lose some of their ability to learn new information, for example, and experience more difficulty retaining information in both short-term and long-term memory.

"Although we found that not all cognitive functions respond to antioxidant treatment, our data suggests that antioxidants play an important role in preventing or slowing age-related cognitive impairments," says Tapp.

Interestingly, although eating antioxidant-fortified food improved the cognitive skills of the older dogs, we found no improvement in the younger animals. This suggests, Tapp says, that the diet is most effective in animals that already have some degree of cognitive impairment. The study is currently ongoing in the younger dogs to determine if the diet has a protective effect on age-related cognitive decline in general.

Two years ago, researchers at the Universidad Nacional Aut�noma de Mexico (UNAM) and the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) reported that a blueberry-enriched antioxidant diet may prevent age-related deterioration of object recognition memory in aged rats.

Now, new findings from the same research group reveal that, in the brains of the same rats, the diet also prevents an age-related increase in a protein (NF-kappaB) that responds to oxidative stress, a probable cause of brain aging.

"Our findings fit into an emerging pattern of data from many laboratories that point to a buildup of oxidative damage as one of the key factors in brain aging," says Pilar Goyarzu, a doctoral student at UNAM under the direction of David Malin, PhD, and Francis Lau. "The findings also suggest that diets rich in natural antioxidants have the potential to slow down this damage."

For the current study, Goyarzu fed rats a blueberry-enriched diet. NF-kappaB levels were then assayed in five different brain regions involved in memory processes (the hippocampus, frontal cortex, striatum, basal forebrain, and cerebellum). The aged rats on the blueberry-enriched diet had lower NF-kappaB levels than aged rats fed a control data. Young control rats also had lower NF-kappaB levels than the aged control rats.

"We also found that among the aged rats, the higher the NF-kappaB levels, the poorer their memory scores," says Goyarzu. The UNAM and UHCL researchers are now studying the effects of aging and diet on other proteins that mediate the effects of oxidative stress in the brain.

At the National Institute on Aging's (NIA) Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore, Maryland, scientists have found that blueberries can help lessen some of the functional damage caused by a brain injury.

"Our results suggest that the consumption of blueberries and perhaps other fruits and vegetables could have a positive neurological impact on the aging brain, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurological disorders," says Edward L. Spangler, the lead author of the study.

Spangler and his colleagues fed one group of young rats a diet supplemented with a 2 percent blueberry extract; another group was fed the same diet, but without the extract. After two to three months, all the animals received chemically-induced lesions in their hippocampus, a region deep within the brain that plays an essential role in learning and memory.

Damage to the hippocampus results in an inability to remember recent events. The researchers then tested the animals' ability to learn a complicated maze task. The rats that had been fed the blueberry extract were significantly less impaired at performing the task than those that didn't receive the extract.

"We believe the blueberries contain a particular group of as-yet unidentified bioactive chemicals that ameliorate the functional consequences of brain damage, including a loss of the ability to learn or remember recent events," says Spangler.

Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Boston have found that an antioxidant-rich diet may help stave off the harmful, immediate effects of certain cosmic radiation.

"These findings may help protect future astronauts from the dangerous physical and mental effects produced by extended radiation exposure on long-term space missions," says UMBC's Bernard M. Rabin, PhD.

One of the biggest obstacles facing a future manned mission to Mars is the hazard that an extended, three-years-long space flight poses to the human nervous system. Highly radioactive, subatomic particles known as cosmic rays can cause severe damage to an astronaut's brain and central nervous system.

To see if antioxidants might provide future space travelers some protection, Rabin and his colleagues fed one group of rats a control diet and another group a diet containing either a 2 percent blueberry or a 2 percent strawberry extract for two months.

Then, using facilities at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory), the researchers exposed the rats to the equivalent of space radiation -- 1.5 Gy of 56Fe particles. Afterwards, the rats were put back on the antioxidant diet for one more week before being shipped to UMBC and trained to press a lever to receive food.

Seven months later, all the radiated animals were tested to determine whether they were able to respond appropriately to increases in work requirements. The control rats and those fed the antioxidant-rich diets responded similarly.

When tested again at 12 months, however, the radiated rats that had been fed either the control or the blueberry extract diet performed less well than those fed the strawberry extract diet. In fact, the "strawberry" rats performed as well as non-irradiated rats.

"These results suggest that certain antioxidant diets can prevent some of the cognitive changes that occur with exposure to cosmic rays," says Rabin. He and his colleagues are now studying the effect of different antioxidant diets on other tasks and behaviors.

New studies from Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, Florida, may help explain why women are more prone to weight gain and shed fewer pounds through exercise than men.

In studies involving male and female rats, Lisa A. Eckel, PhD, and graduate student Shelley Moore found that females were much more susceptible than males to overeating when presented with a sweet-tasting diet. They also discovered that exercise helps males overcome their urge to overeat such foods, but not females.

"When given access to running wheels, only the male rats decreased their food intake," says Eckel. "The female rats continued to overeat. This suggests that females are more vulnerable than males to over eating a palatable, sweet-tasting diet."

In the past, few animal studies of overeating have involved females, although obesity is greater in women than in men. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 33 percent of women in the United States are overweight compared to 28 percent of men.

For both sexes, however, obesity has become a growing and serious health problem. CDC statistics released in 2002 showed that the number of obese people in the United States has doubled over the past two decades. Obesity has been linked to a host of potentially deadly health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers.

One of the next steps in this research, says Eckel, is to determine the hormonal basis for why female rats are more susceptible to overeating than their male counterparts. "We intend to investigate the sex differences in the release of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that regulate appetite and the preference for sweet tastes," she says.

Researchers at Mississippi State University have found that early exposure to environmental chemicals that mimic or block the action of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone may disrupt normal differences in the brain between males and females -- differences that affect thinking and learning as well as sexual behavior. These findings add more scientific support to the growing concern that exposure to environmental chemicals is harmful, particularly to children.

In recent years, scientists have increasingly linked environmental chemicals to certain reproductive abnormalities, particularly premature or delayed sexual development. "In the last decade, we've also come to understand that sex hormones play an important role in the maturation of other, non-reproductive systems," says Russell Carr, PhD.

"It's now known that estrogen is a key player in the development of the nervous system, and that the presence or absence of estrogen during development causes significant differences in the brains of both male and female animals." These gender-related differences are connected to areas of the brain involved in cognitive as well as reproductive functions.

In their recent study, Carr and his colleagues administered several environmental chemicals orally to newborn rats for two weeks, beginning one day after the animals' birth. The chemicals selected for the study were the sex hormone estradiol (E2); the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbesterol (DES); the plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA), which has been shown to leach out of plastics into food; the herbicide atrazine (ATR), which has been suggested to be estrogenic; and the insecticide methoxychlor (MC), which mimics estrogen once it's metabolized in the body. During and after the exposure period, the researchers measured the effects of the chemicals on the animals' brain development.

They specifically looked for changes in the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, as well as some of their metabolites, in various regions of the brain. These levels were then compared to levels in control animals.
At one week following the end of exposure, no significant changes were detected in the overall levels of neurotransmitters between the treated and the control groups.

The scientists did, however, make a startling discovery: In the control animals, there was a significant difference between males and females in the levels of neurotransmitters observed in two areas of the brain, the cerebellum and hippocampus. In the treated animals, no such differences were found.

These findings support earlier studies from MSU that had shown a similar gender-dependent effect of an environmental chemical (the plasticizer BPA) on cognitive function.

"This suggests that the main effect of developmental exposure to these chemicals is the disruption of the normal differences between males and females," says Carr. "It's a subtle effect because exposure to these chemicals doesn't produce any significant effects on brain neurochemistry within each sex."
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
More meteorologists say sunspots can help predict the weather
A blustery winter would likely mean gains for natural gas

If you want to know where natural gas prices are heading, maybe it’s time to check out the sun.

Magnetic storms on its surface can generate dark-looking areas called sunspots, blemishes that wax and wane in roughly 11-year cycles and may hold clues for predicting weather patterns: The fewer the spots, the colder winter will be in swaths of the Northern Hemisphere.

That’s the theory, anyway, and one that’s gaining ground among commercial meteorologists on the lookout for new ways to serve their clients -- traders eager to know how cold it’s going to be so they can gauge natural-gas demand.

“I was a real skeptic on the impact of solar cycles and sunspots,’’ said Todd Crawford, senior meteorological scientist at IBM’s The Weather Co. But after studying the patterns of cold winters that followed the last low point in the cycle, “I was on board.”

To understand it, think of the sun’s magnetic field as a sort of umbrella for Earth, said Scott McIntosh, director of the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The umbrella can block some cosmic rays -- charged particles from long-dead stars -- from bombarding the atmosphere.

When fewer sunspots form, the field weakens and more rays get through to hit Earth. Then the chances go up that frigid air dropping out of the Arctic, as it often does during winter, will get trapped in eastern North America or Europe and bring on harsh episodes of shiver-inducing weather, said Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Not everyone in the meteorological world is sold on the spots’ predictive power when it comes to terrestrial weather. They’re somewhat controversial, too, because they play a role in a theory that some climate-change deniers have latched onto about how global warming isn’t a threat; pretty soon a chilling sunspot cycle will come to the rescue, these folks contend, and cool things down on Earth.

McIntosh, an astrophysicist, said he believes the sunspots do affect Earth’s weather. Though he thinks more research is needed, he won’t argue with the meteorologists, and if it turns out he is wrong, “I’m prepared to be hung in effigy.”

The sun right now is in a blemish-free period, known as a solar minimum. The last one occurred around 2009 -- when cosmic rays began hitting Earth at the highest levels in records going back to 1964 at the University of Oulu’s cosmic ray station at the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Finland.



The current low-point in the cycle is “aiming to be even quieter than the previous one,’’ said Rogers of Commodity Weather Group. A looming El Nino in the Pacific is already pointing to a stormy U.S. winter that could get a boost from the solar minimum, said IBM’s Crawford, which could mean “higher than normal snowfall through all the major eastern U.S. cities, especially at the end of winter.”

The market seems to be suspecting as much. Natural-gas futures rallied 41 percent in November, the biggest November gain since 2000. Gas stockpiles are at a 16-year seasonal low as the heating season kicks off.

John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York, said he’s willing to give the sunspot-weather theory consideration. “With all energy markets, you have to expose yourself with things outside your lane,” he said. “Apparently this is a significant enough development that we have to pay attention.”
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member



Comment: 9

New Regions Brighten the Sun's Face: Solar Storm Forecast 12-12-2018
Published on Dec 12, 2018
The fast solar wind we have been enjoying over the past week from an extended coronal hole is finally beginning to wane. We will likely remain at unsettled conditions over the next few days and return to quieter conditions by the end of the week. We also have 3 new bright active regions on the Earth facing Sun that are boosting solar flux for amateur and shortwave radio operators and emergency responders. This means radio propagation is back to marginal levels on Earth's day side and will likely remain that way over the next week. See the details of these bright regions, catch up on aurora photos from the recent solar storms, and see what else our Sun has in store this week.

The #STRATOSPHERE is a hot topic (no pun intended), but sudden stratospheric (#SSW) warming signals are strong.



NASA's Voyager 2 Went Interstellar the Same Day a Solar Probe Touched the Sun
December 14, 2018 07:25am ET
WASHINGTON — Call it a cosmic coincidence: Two probes launched four decades apart, traveled in opposite directions — and used similar instruments to gather milestone data within hours of each other.

That scientific poetry took place on Nov. 5. Without orchestrated calculations or trajectory maneuvers, the grizzled Voyager 2 probe crossed into interstellar space the same day that the freshly launched Parker Solar Probe made its first close approach to our sun. Both spacecraft were equipped with unique Faraday cup instruments, which they used to gather milestone data about nearby highly charged plasma particles streaming off the sun.

"To be crossing into new territory on both edges of the heliosphere at the same time to within a day — you couldn't plan that if you wanted to," Justin Kasper, an astrophysicist at the University of Michigan and principal investigator for the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons, or SWEAP, instrument on the Parker Solar Probe, told Space.com here during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, where both missions' accomplishments were conversation starters. [NASA's Parker Solar Probe Mission to the Sun in Pictures]


An artist's depiction of the Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As a human, Kasper loved the coincidence, although as an astrophysicist he does have one small worry. "I am not going to be able to keep up with writing these papers," he said.

The differences between the two missions are staggering. They launched 41 years apart. Where Voyager 2 has enjoyed a leisurely stroll among the outer planets and beyond, the Parker Solar Probe made a mad dash to the center of our solar system in just three months. It would take nearly a quarter-million copies of the Voyager 2 computer to equal the memory of the smartphone in the pocket of a Parker Solar Probe engineer. When the Voyagers launched, bell-bottoms were hip — and they're back on the runways for Parker's first winter in orbit.

Both spacecraft are equipped with similar instruments for measuring plasma particles. That's no coincidence: Kasper was inspired in his SWEAP design by the very instruments that flew on the twin Voyager probes, which were built by his graduate-school mentors. Voyager 2 carries four larger Faraday cups all told, with three pointed at slightly different angles toward the sun; whereas Parker carries just one much smaller cup designed to sip the sun's plasma flood.

Voyager 1's Faraday suite stopped working decades before it entered interstellar space, leaving scientists to wait an extra six years for data of this type. On Nov. 5, it finally came, when Voyager 2's version of the instrument recorded the disappearance of plasma about 120 astronomical units (AU) away from the sun. (Earth is on average one AU away from the sun.)

That plasma disappearance marks the heliopause, where the solar wind — a constant stream of plasma particles flowing off the sun — collides against the superfast particles called cosmic rays that make up the interstellar wind. The resulting heliopause is a bubble that inflates and contracts over the course of the sun's cycle.

Parker Solar Probe's job is to investigate the source of that solar wind within the sun's ultrahot atmosphere, called the corona. It will do so for seven years in order to capture data at different stages of the solar cycle, making a total of 24 planned solar flybys to inch ever closer to our star. And so, on Nov. 5 at 10:28 p.m. EST (0328 GMT Nov. 6), it and its Faraday cup grazed less than one-fifth of an AU above the sun's visible surface.

And just like that, in less time than it takes humanity's home world to twirl once within the vastness of the cosmos, two of our creations brushed opposite ends of the bubble surrounding our celestial neighborhood and our fingers stretched a tiny bit deeper into the heavens.

Solar activity report
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

1a780dd87542203d3e97670dd2e1ce7d.png

a2102b14bd6e6c2450b4ba86661b363c.png

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:


The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:



In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.


Meanwhile:
Translated from French by Microsoft
The #hiver au #Manitoba(#Canada) [1/2]-many light pillars observed in recent days-Météomédia: D'étranges Lumières Dans Le Ciel Au Manitoba -explanations of the phenomenon: Colonne lumineuse — Wikipédia

 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Translated from French by Microsoft
To introduce the cosmic rays to high school students in a concrete way, it is now possible with the e-PERON platform inaugurated today at Pic du Midi. @ObsMip @CPPMLuminy @PicduMidi @IRAP_France @UdPPC @Sciences_Ecole @CLEAastro ▶️ e-PÉRON – Plateforme Éducative Rayons cosmiques et muONs
D9cAv5qWsAAq3iu.jpg



All Quiet at Earth, New Crater on a Stormy Mars: Solar Storm Forecast 06-20-2019
RT: / 9:27
Noctilucent Cloud and Aurora Photos: Lone Athanasakis, Denmark: https://twitter.com/Lathanafoto/statu... Gary Chittick, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland: https://twitter.com/gbc123/status/114... Petr Horálek, Prosec, Czech Republic: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_... Zita Gasiūnaitė, Klaipėda, Lithuania: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_... Karla Leeftink, Drenthe, Netherlands: https://twitter.com/karlaleeftink/sta... Boris Ruth , Trier, Germany: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_... Vincent Phillips, Hale village near Liverpool, UK: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_... Team Tanner, Central Alberta, Canada: https://twitter.com/dartanner/status/... Notanee Bourassa, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada: https://twitter.com/DJHardwired/statu... Jason O'Young, cape George, Novia Scotia, Canada: https://twitter.com/jasonoyoung/statu... https://twitter.com/jasonoyoung/statu... Isaac, Misery Bay, Michigan, USA: https://twitter.com/ID_Photo_Graphy/s... Stefan Walker, NW of Buffalo, Minnesota, USA: https://twitter.com/stefanwalker89/st... Jake Stehli, Winona, Minnesota, USA: https://twitter.com/eljakeo30/status/... Don Davis, Joshua Tree, California, USA: http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_... Sussan Says, Hobart, Tasmania: https://twitter.com/SussanSays/status...


Translated from Dutch by Microsoft
Live! Insane field with bright night clouds, current at Nijmegen! The biggest display I've ever seen here.. #nlc #lichtendenachtwolken

D9nynY1WkAAuBAX.jpg

Translated from French by Microsoft 4:20 PM - 21 Jun 2019
💙 For the #solstice summer, the Eiffel Tower was accompanied by a splendid curtain of Noctiluque Clouds. These extremely rare clouds, located at an altitude of 80 km, were captured by Loïc Michel on 21 June at around 11 p.m. An exceptional photo that deserves our congratulations 😍 #NLCfranc
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
- cosmic ray fluxes [on the moon] almost doubling since 2015.
- Cosmic rays haven't quite broken the Space Age record set in 2009-2010, but they're getting close
COSMIC RAY UPDATE--NEW RESULTS FROM THE MOON: Note to astronauts: 2019 is not a good year to fly into deep space. In fact, it's shaping up to be one of the worst of the Space Age. One of the deepest Solar Minima of the past century is underway now. As the sun's magnetic field weakens, cosmic rays from deep space are flooding into the solar system, posing potential health risks to space travelers.

NASA is monitoring the situation with a radiation sensor in lunar orbit. The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) has been circling the Moon on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft since 2009. Researchers have just published a paper in the journal Space Weather describing CRaTER's latest findings.


Above: An artist's concept of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter​

"The overall decrease in solar activity in this period has led to an increased flux of energetic particles, to levels that are approaching those observed during the previous solar minimum in 2009/2010, which was the deepest minimum of the Space Age," write the authors, led by Cary Zeitlin of NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center. "The data have implications for human exploration of deep space."

This always happens during Solar Minimum. As solar activity goes down, cosmic rays go up. The last two Solar Minima have been unusually deep, leading to high cosmic ray fluxes in 2008-2010 and again in 2018-2019. These are the worst years since humans first left Earth in the 1960s.

The latest data from CRaTER show cosmic ray fluxes almost doubling since 2015:


Above: Since 2015, the flux of cosmic rays at the Moon has nearly doubled. Another plot shows the complete CRaTER record starting in 2010.​

"It's a bit counterintuitive," says one of the authors, Nathan Schwadron, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire. "Solar Minimum may actually be more dangerous than Solar Maximum."

In their paper, Zeitlin, Schwadron and co-authors describe an interesting experiment by NASA that highlights the relative peril of solar flares vs. cosmic rays. In 2011, NASA launched the Curiosity rover to Mars. Inside its spacecraft, the rover was protected by about as much shielding (20 gm/cm^2) as a human astronaut would have. A radiation sensor tucked inside kept track of Curiosity's exposure.

The results were surprising. During the 9-month journey to Mars, radiation from solar flares (including the strongest flare of the previous solar cycle) accounted for only about 5% of Curiosity's total dose. The remaining 95% came from cosmic rays.

As 2019 unfolds, Solar Minimum is still deepening. Cosmic rays haven't quite broken the Space Age record set in 2009-2010, but they're getting close, only percentage points from the highest values CRaTER has ever recorded.

"No one can predict what will happen next," says Schwadron. "However, the situation speaks for itself. We have to be prepared for strong cosmic rays."
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member



Donald Scott: Breakthrough – New Evidence of Birkeland Currents in Earth's Atmosphere | Space News
Published on Jul 19, 2019
A new investigation into the wind patterns in Earth’s upper atmosphere may provide critical insight into our planet’s electrical environment, and its relationship to the Sun. In numerous past episodes, retired professor of electrical engineering Dr. Donald Scott has outlined his mathematical modeling of a Birkeland current’s structure, and its visual identification as counterrotating cylinders. Recently, Dr. Scott invited members of the Electric Universe to begin tracking our planet’s wind patterns. In his own investigation, Dr. Scott has made what may be an important discovery — an apparent periodicity to the counterroational patterns seen at our planet’s poles. In this episode, Dr. Scott explains the potential significance of this discovery for the Electric Universe model of the Sun, and its connection to Earth

 

Tuatha de Danaan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member



Donald Scott: Breakthrough – New Evidence of Birkeland Currents in Earth's Atmosphere | Space News
Published on Jul 19, 2019



The above site abruptearthchanges.com has some very interesting articles around the coming climate changes and he mentions some of Laura's works.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
July 21, 2019 Russ Steele
A pair of new international studies which punched holes in the absoluteness of man-made climate change have gotten little-to-no attention in the corporate media.

Researchers from Kobe University in Japan found that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect.”

A second study, a paper published by researchers from the University of Turku in Finland, concluded that even though observed changes in the climate are real, the effects of human activity on these changes are insignificant. Such findings create cognitive dissonance for celebrity and media actors committed to the narrative that human behavior is killing the planet.

“We have to recognize that the anthropogenic climate change does not exist in practice,” the study concluded.

Professor Masayuki Hyodo, who led the research team at Kobe University, said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has discussed the impact of cloud cover on climate in their evaluations, but this phenomenon has never been considered in climate predictions due to the insufficient physical understanding of it.”

Professor Hyodo continued: “This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”

Continue reading HERE.

During a Grand Minimum, there are fewer sunspots and more cosmic rays increasing cloud cover, reducing temperatures by 1-2 degrees C. This temperature reduction shortens the growing season by 10 days for every 1/2 a degree according to some estimates. On the other hand, fewer cosmic rays would increase warmth and extend growing seasons allowing agricuture at higher latitude, expanding the global food supply. This is why we monitor sunspots and cosmic rays at the Next Grand Minimum.

The weather point for next week! A season time. G-Trans

c658ec16a39084a66440084db8b1bb2d.png


BRIGHT RED SPRITES: According to NASA, cosmic rays are intensifying. Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czechia, witnessed a likely side-effect last Friday night. "Red sprites exploded from the tops of two thunderstorms in front of my cameras," he says.

sprite_strip.jpg

The sprites were huge, and I could see them from quite a distance," he adds. "One storm was in the Adriatic sea about 550 km away, with a closer storm over Slovakia distance at a distance of 115 km."

Hundreds of kilometers may sound like a long way, but a bit of separation helps when it comes to observing sprites over the tops of towering thunderheads. Here's why.

Cosmic rays are increasing because of Solar Minimum. During this phase of the solar cycle, radiation from deep space penetrates the sun's weakening magnetic defenses and enters Earth's atmosphere in greater numbers than usual. Some researchers believe that cosmic rays provide the ionizing "spark" that triggers many sprites.

a41271236c28a7d9e78b8eef42fae1a0.png

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.
Chart:
Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:



The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

Daily Sun: 30 Jul 19
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

 
Top Bottom