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back to article Cosmic rays hit Space Age high

The level of cosmic rays bombarding our solar system has hit a 50-year high - a "signficant" increase which could impact on future space missions. The surge in cosmic rays - "subatomic particles, mainly protons but also some heavy nuclei", Space.com explains - was detected by NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft …

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"the way things are going ... won't be an issue ... by the time we get our act together"

If you say so Lester -- my understanding is that we shall have all drowned in a tsunami of melted polar bears long before then.

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re Bootnote

Solar maximum this time may be missing - we appear to be heading for a Dalton or Maunder type minimum in solar activity so the cosmic ray level may stay high.

Which also means less aurorae, which is a crying shame, because they're gorgeous.

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Surely satellites are safe?

I was under the impression that most/all satellites used rad hardened chips with redundant circuits and built in checking systems?

I seem to remember that being the reason that Hubble got upgrade to a 486 about a decade ago (can't remember exactly), when the state of the art at the time was much faster Pentiums: the 486 in question was thoroughly rad hardened.

Or is this only the case for top of the range sats, and cheaper ones are at the mercy of cosmic chance?

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Big Brother

Mayan Mayhem Maybe

The End of the World will be marked at Sunday December 23, 2012

A day for your Google calendar methinks if the Mayans are correct and "The level of cosmic rays bombarding our solar system has hit a 50-year high" has that

"I warned you" feel about them

Worrying about Global warming, it looks like we will be all, toast on Dec 23 and we don't even get to open our Xmas prezzies - I was so looking forward to the inflatable Anti-Cosmic ray lifeboat with built in Hydrogen powered Nano-iPod - and of course the solar powered knitted Arran Sweaters from Granny

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Unhappy

oh no

the 2012ers were right!

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@Paul 25

Most sats are RAD hardened (oo-er) but there's limits it can withstand (the reason that there are still redundancies built in). That's why it says "conceivably" :-) The concern is more for the puny fleshlings in the guise of Major Tom in his tin can. The other reason that "older" tech is used is due to it having less complexity, µm scale and thoroughly tested - we can pretty much be sure that any anomolies in the CPU performance are known by now and the predicted outcome from them are near as damn it 100%.

But thanks for the article Lester, if only because I've now got a song running through my head, and an image of Philip Schofield in the broom cupboard:

Uuuu-ly-sseeeeee-eee-eeeeee-eee-eeeeeessss no-one else can do the things you do

It's me Nono small robot you know, friend of Ulysses

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Coat

Xmas special

cosmic rays! world coming to an end at christmas? sounds like a Dr Who special to me

mines the one with the sonic screwdriver

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Paris Hilton

And it's all our fault

And who will be first to claim it's anthropogenic?

Paris, because she's anthropogenic.

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hundreds of years ago they werer 200% higher

Okay, so they won't directly kill us. But hundreds of years ago there were no satellites and no electronics...

Meh, despite that, I still can't get worried about this.

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Little ice age to come again ?

So the reduced sun level means that there is another little ice age coming ?

And the recent rise in temperatures has cometh form the sun mostly ?

I don't deny CO2 influence , but it seems too much infulence compared wuth H2O vapor and CH4 in the atmosfere.

Only time will tell.

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