Cosmic Rays and their effect on earth

Reposted from:  Space Weather, including links, with my own emphasis noted.
Updated: Sept. 29 2016 // Next Flight: Oct. 1, 2016

Sept. 20, 2016: Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We’ve been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expressed 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. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 12% since 2015:

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, (see also Climate and Earth’s Magnetic Field) which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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.

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.

 

Hillary rally at Temple University, Philadelphia – video perspectives

Since my daughter is still completely undecided about who she will vote for, and because I like to see what information is out on the internet about the campaigns, I thought I would check on how Hillary’s campaign has gone recently and not depend on the network’s limited coverage, but even I was astonished at the difference between what I heard on the radio and what I found online.

Over the past year I have attended as many pre-Primary rallies as possible in our area just to hear what everyone had to say. One was a Kasich rally at a senior center in Greece, New York and we stood in a long line for 45 minutes and it was PACKED when we went in; people had to stand in overflow rooms and even in the hall, way more people there than at this event! Even the balcony area was 3-4 people deep! Unfortunately I missed Bernie’s rally because I had to teach that day, but people who went told me the turnout was massive and there were plenty of traffic issues getting there and parked. His popularity was evident.

But now for what I found out about Temple University. First a video courtesy of local media. I was looking for inside footage, but that is the ONLY crowd shot – kids behind her? Seriously? Static shot with no panning? No images of audience reaction?

So I searched for amateur footage and found this:

Nicer, more human, and gives a better idea of the room. However, it showed a fair amount of open space. Not a large crowd? I wanted to see if I could get more information on the venue itself, both in and out.

Following is a different video. You will see plenty of outside shots before the event, but it hardly looks different from any typical between-class foot traffic you can see at any university. Where are the crowds? The lines? The vehicle traffic? Also, never mind who she is reporting for, this gal makes some interesting observations about Hillary’s cards-to-the-chest approach towards letting the public know where and when to attend her rallies. Weird behavior for someone running for president!
The girl got in after it was over and I was able to see the setup (8:10). Folding chairs for a “rally”? And not very many, at that. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe I haven’t been to enough different rallies, but the only time I can imagine having chairs is when your venue has them affixed to the floor (like a LARGE auditorium), but then that limits how many people can be there, which seems counter-productive.

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But to REALLY give you a good visual, look at this picture. I couldn’t embed the video at http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/09/19/hillary-clinton-millennial-votes-tehillary-at-templemple/ (of course you can always go there to see it), but the screenshot is telling and, frankly, if I was her I would be embarrassed. Come on! She’s at a University and that’s all the people she could get? More to the point, why did she request such a small room to begin with if she is so popular in the polls?
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But what has upset me was a presidential-rally-related video that showed up while I was searching for information about this particular rally, about events which clearly did not happen at that rally.
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I find Hillary’s duplicity and “ends-justify-whatever-means-to-gain-power” reprehensible, but it is her continued toleration of THAT kind of behavior that absolutely cements that I would rather vote for a dead skunk, even if she was the only one running, because so many of her supporters are GENUINELY, violently, intolerant! THAT is what “deplorables” really look like!
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I even saw overt hostility while leaving at least one non-Democratic primary rally, but have NEVER, not even ONCE observed it done by Trump supporters/Republicans against those at non-Republican rallies! Good thing there were plenty of police that particular day because they were clearly attempting to incite violence.
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I do recall that in the beginning there were some issues with aggression AT Trump rallies against dissenters, but he shut that down quickly, as a good leader should, and since then there has ONLY been violence against THEM, with Hillary (and Bernie, before) apparently continuing to take no responsibility, saying nothing to supporters to stop that deplorable behavior.

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