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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.
A stream of high-speed solar wind is lashing Earth's magnetic field, blowing faster than 700 km/s. "Much to might delight, the auroras started as soon as the sun went down on Aug. " Picture this: A billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) slams into Earth's magnetic field.
This is sparking geomagnetic storms around the poles. 31st, pushed bright auroras across the Canadian border into the USA as far south as Wisconsin, Michigan and Montana. Campers in the Rocky Mountains wake up in the middle of the night, thinking that the glow they see is sunrise. People in Cuba read their morning paper by the red illumination of aurora borealis. This map shows where auroras were sighted in the early hours of Sept.
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.
For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 ke V to 20 Me V. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth.
These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay.
Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population.Approximately once a week, 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.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.
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Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.