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Cosmic Rays

April 5, 2013


Cosmic rays are small particles, mostly protons that throw into the Global environment at various levels of energy. Billions of cosmic radiations are slamming into the Earth every second, most of them with a quite low power. However, every once in a while cosmic radiation with excessive level of energy impact the Earth. The most highly effective yet recorded was only one proton with an energy of 50 J, approximately comparative to a baseball pitch. Scientists are at a loss to describe how some of the most dynamic radiation got their energy.

Where do they come from?

An  image dispalying the Cosmic raysMost galactic cosmic radiations are probably accelerated in the blast waves of supernova remnants. This doesn’t mean that the supernova explosion itself gets the particles up to these rates of speed. The remnants of the explosions, expanding clouds of gas and magnetic field, can last for centuries, and this is where cosmic rays are accelerated.

Cosmic rays include Galactic Cosmic rays, Anomalous Cosmic rays, Solar Energetic Particles.

What happens when cosmic rays hit the Earth?

When a highly energetic cosmic ray hits Earth, we would not recognize it directly; we would recognize something known as the air bath of a cosmic ray. Air showers are a stream of secondary particles designed when the cosmic radiation beat into the upper atmosphere. As these powerful particles crash through the air, they can spread out over 40 miles by the time they achieve the ground (and up to billions of additional particles). The relatively low energy cosmic radiations from the sun (aka solar wind) are also responsible for auroras at Earth’s poles.

Particles in Cosmic rays

Method components (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and flourine) are about 10 times their variety in normal matter and the bulkier components are increased about a hundredfold over normal matter. There is a small fraction of heavier particles which generate some exciting information. About 0.25% are light components (lithium, beryllium and boron).

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