Cosmic radiation around us reaching record high levels as the Sun sets Space Age record for most days without spots

Cosmic radiation has hit the 5-year high this month and is approaching record high values as the Sun sets a new Space Age record for spotlessness -- days without sunspots. The Sun’s magnetic field weakens during solar minimums, allowing deep space cosmic radiation to flood the Solar System.

Cosmic radiation is increasing since 2014 when Solar Cycle 24 peaked and the Sun headed toward very deep Solar Minimum we are experiencing right now. SC24 reached its maximum in April 2014 with 23 months smoothed sunspot number of only 81.8 -- one of the weakest solar cycles on record.

In 2019, the Sun has been without spots for 270 days or 77%, as of December 16, which is the highest number of spotless days on the Sun since the Space Age began in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. 

The current Solar Minimum, the same as the previous one (2008/2009), is very deep -- referred to as 'century-class' minimum. The only year with more spotless days was 1913 with 311.

Top 25 of years with most spotless days since 1849. Image credit: SIDC (2019 data not included)

The previous Space Age record for the year with most spotless days was set in 2008 with 168.

"As 2019 comes to a close, neutron monitors at Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland are approaching those same levels. Indeed, a new record could be just weeks or months away," Dr. Tony Phillips of the SpaceWeather.com notes.

"Neutron monitors in Oulu are getting results similar to ours," Phillips said, referring to Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray measurements. "Oulu data show that cosmic rays have been increasing for the past 5 years and, moreover, are within percentage points of the Space Age record."

"We use X-ray and gamma-ray detectors sensitive to energies in the range 10 keV to 20 MeV," Phillips said. 

"This type of radiation, which you can also find in medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners, has increased more than 20% in the stratosphere."

Cosmic radiation affects our planet, all life on or near it and electronics, among other things.

For the start, people in airplanes at 12 km (39 000 feet) can receive 10 times the cosmic ray dose than people on the sea level.

Cosmic rays ionize the nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere, which leads to a number of chemical reactions. They are also responsible for the continuous production of a number of unstable isotopes in the Earth's atmosphere, such as carbon-14. 

It has been postulated that cosmic radiation may have been responsible for major climatic change and mass-extinction in the past. According to Adrian Mellott and Mikhail Medvedev, 62-million-year cycles in biological marine populations correlate with the motion of the Earth relative to the galactic plane and increases in exposure to cosmic rays. The researchers suggest that this and gamma-ray bombardments deriving from local supernovae could have affected cancer and mutation rates, and might be linked to decisive alterations in the Earth's climate, and to the mass-extinctions of the Ordovician.

Due to its effect on all biological life, cosmic radiation is one of the most important barriers standing in the way of plans for interplanetary travel by crewed spacecraft.

In addition, cosmic rays have sufficient energy to alter the states of circuit components in electronic integrated circuits, causing transient errors to occur (such as corrupt data in memory devices or incorrect performance of CPUs). ...

As the current solar cycle ends and the next one begins, cosmic radiation levels around us will stop rising and start falling.

Featured image: Oulu

Comments

Mia Amoure 3 months ago

People, people, people... When are you going to wake up to the lies? ALL of them. You are being lied to on all fronts, from mainstream all the way to “truth” seekers. The ONLY thing you can EVER know for sure is observable, repeatable science - not this theoretical bulls**t. Stop taking other people’s information, that makes no sense at all, as fact. Look up my channel on YouTube to understand what is happening and why. It’s called Mia’s New Pair of Glasses.

Elizabeth Coles 3 months ago

Suggested safer areas of the country are...?

RoHa 3 months ago

So we're doomed again.

Daniel 3 months ago

We are entering a period of Global Cooling. During the Maunder Minimum the sun radiated less heat. Wheat prices rose as much as 400% in the UK. In 1709 the price of food in Europe rose 600%. The ground was frozen solid for a depth of one meter (40 inches.) But Dr Valentina Zarkhova has noticed that more significant than the slight global cooling is the reduction of the sun's magnetosphere. This allows more cosmic rays (nuclear particles from distant decaying stars) to strike the earth. The New Madrid fault had a major quake on 12-25-1699 during the Maunder Minimum. During the Dalton Minimum, the New Madrid fault had 4 quakes on 3 days in 1811-1812. Japanese scientists also noted an increase in the number of volcanoes during a Grand Solar Minimum. The likely cause of the increase in both quakes and volcanoes is the increased number of cosmic rays energizing the earth. Time to seriously consider moving away from California, the Juan de Fuca plate in the Northwest and the New Madrid fault near the Mississippi river.

mark mulligan 3 months ago

There appears to be a relationship between cosmic ray storms (at least those from nearby nova stars) and ice ages. The former serve the latter as cloud cover atmospheric "salters", per NASA's Unexplained Files. More cloud cover, increased global albedo, ice age. A little global cooling would be welcome around now, assuming no great disturbance resulted. Humanity needs another decade or two to get its act together before all the frozen methane hydrate sublimates into the atmosphere and goodbye Marlene.

Jes Allen 3 months ago

The nano particulate being sprayed in our atmosphere facilitates lightning strikes and the worlwide fires in relatively uninhabited places. These particulates also act as an agent aiding combustion. Just part of UN agenda 21 & 2030. I measure the temperature in direct sunlight every day where possible and it is always 50 deg +or- 2deg. summer and winter, whether the ambient temperature is 10deg C or 35deg C. Cosmic radiation?

Jamal Shrair 3 months ago

COSMIC RAYS ARE THE MAJOR PLAYER IN CURRENT CLIMATE CHANGE Cosmic Rays are powering the sun and have a major role in the atmospheric and geological events that take place in our planet. The drifting of the sun into a dense energy region and the weakening of its magnetic shield is the reason for the continuous increase of cosmic rays and galactic dust. Many spacecrafts, such as Ulysses have shown massive increase in the last two decades in the amount of stardust that enters the solar system. However, any further increase in the rate of cosmic rays will intensify atmospheric and geological events. Due to the fact that current laws of physics suffer from serious defects, the most important facts and phenomena about our own planet are not understood. One of these phenomena is lightning. What causes lightning? It is considered as a great mystery. Decades of electric field measurements made inside thunderstorms have failed to find large enough electric fields to cause a spark, even when the effects of precipitation are taken into account. Since we know that lightning does occur—in fact, it strikes the earth about four million times a day—we must be missing something in our understanding. However, now it becomes obvious that the suggestion introduced by Russian physicist Alex Gurevich 31 years ago, is correct. He suggested that lightning might be initiated by cosmic rays from outer space. His suggestion is correct and the explanation is centered on a process called runaway breakdown. "Runaway breakdown can create large amounts of high-energy electrons, as well as x-rays and gamma rays. Interestingly, we know that runaway breakdown works for the low electric fields already seen inside thunderstorms. We also know that it does sometimes happen right before lightning, because we can see big bursts of x-rays and gamma rays shooting out of thunderstorms. In fact, these gamma rays are so energetic and so bright that they have been observed from outer space, 600 kilometers (373 miles) above Earth's surface." Thus, one can understand the massive increase of lightning around the globe. It is not because of global warming, but rather the increase of cosmic rays. Most powerful electrical storm on record detected. The total charge in a single thundercloud could have powered New York City for half an hour. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/04/most-powerful-electrical-storm-on-record-detected-india-thunderstorms-lightning/ Lightning storm off NZ one of earth‘s largest. The massive electrical storm on Saturday night over the Tasman Sea was one of the largest on earth. https://www.newsie.co.nz/news/161603-lightning-storm-off-nz-one-of-earths-largest.html Regarding, geological phenomena please see my articles on the watchers

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