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 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, 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.


Aeromobil Flying Car Makes A Majestic Lift-Off

Aeromobil Flying Car Makes A Majestic Lift-Off.

Technology is really advancing quite quickly. Here is an actual flying car!

This is an old post, but this is still pretty cool so I am reposting it. This blog post has more pictures and two YouTube videos about it.



Online Moon Phase Calendar

Sometimes you just want to know the phase of the moon. Is it waxing (getting larger) or waning (getting smaller)? When will be the full moon exactly? Stop any arguments about whether the moon is full today or not. Or maybe you are planting by the moon and need to keep track of that.

Here is an incredibly cool site with that kind of moon information.

I have created a static image for August 2016 because that image won’t show any other way.

August 2016 moonphase

However, click on the site link and you will see where you can find the moon phase calendar, full moon calendar, and other cool moon information.

Moon Giant website – Today’s moon phase


Geeking out to science music videos!

Arrgghh! Enough politics!

Time to lighten up and have fun with SCIENCE (music videos)! Not boring ones, either.

You don’t even have to pretend to understand, but maybe they’ll impress your friends.

At the very least they will wobble your brain nicely.

So what is your field of battle?

But what are facts if you don’t have love?

Sigh…talk nerdy to me!

Then there’s this…this…whatever. I don’t understand all he’s talking/singing about, but he does it so beautifully! (Maybe he is ze Frenchman?)

Have I blinded you with science?

(Lyrics follow for those who simply MUST know what he is saying – like me)

It’s poetry in motion, she turned her tender eyes to me,
as deep as any ocean, as sweet as any harmony.
Mm, but she blinded me with science,                   “She blinded me with science!”
and failed me in biology.

When I’m dancing close to her,                               “Blinding me with science, science!”
I can smell the chemicals.                                         “Blinding me with science, science!”
                                                                    “Science!”                          “Science!”

Mm, but it’s poetry in motion, and when she turned her eyes to me,
as deep as any ocean, as sweet as any harmony.
she blinded me with science,                                   “She blinded me with science!”
and failed me in geometry.

When she’s dancing next to me,                             “Blinding me with science, science!”
I can hear machinery!                                                “Blinding me with science, science!”

It’s poetry in motion! And now she’s making love to me.
The spheres are in commotion; the elements in harmony.
She blinded me with science,                                   “She blinded me with science!”
and hit me with technology.                                     “Good heavens Miss Sakamoto,
.                                                                               you’re beautiful!”

I…I don’t believe it! There she goes again!
She’s tidied up, and I can’t find anything!
All my tubes and wires, and careful notes, and antiquated notions.

But! It’s poetry in motion, and when she turned her eyes to me –
as deep as any ocean, as sweet as any harmony
Uh, she blinded me with science,                             “She blinded me with, with science!”
She blinded me with…




But I can’t resist one last song for all those who have ever wondered “What IS love?”


Solar Ice Maker: No Moving Parts, No Electricity!

And interesting concept I ran across…

* * * * * *

Intended for disaster relief situations, refugee camps, and developing nations the bright minds at San Jose State University have created an ice making machine that uses the heat from sunlight to power a chemical reaction. Read the full article for the details on this very “cool” technology!

Source: Solar Ice Maker: No Moving Parts, No Electricity | greenUPGRADER

Is it possible there is a true alternative to damaging wind turbines?

I am sad to say that I initially was one who thought wind turbines were good. Wow, was THAT wrong! Clearly the Law of Unintended Consequences is at work to a massive degree, here! Having said that, although I am reluctant to make that mistake again, I would like to share an interesting alternative. HOWEVER, I would LOVE to hear other people’s ideas of ANY potential downsides to this, because it really does seem to have some promise. My only suggestion would be to emulate the shape and action of leaves…

Upheavals in Physics: The Speed of Light Exceeded

I wish this would actually display part of the article, but check this out! What a concept.


Upheavals in Physics: The Speed of Light Exceeded – Chuck Missler – Koinonia House.

Free Energy Nitinol Heat Machines invented in the early 1970

According to a portion of that article: Demonstration model heat engines have been built which use nitinol wire to produce mechanical energy from hot and cold heat sources. A prototype commercial engine developed in the 1970s by engineer Ridgway Banks at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was named the Banks Engine.

However, the applications are not limited to just energy production. The article continues… More

Raising Monarch Butterflies

I am trying out using Pages in WordPress by documenting the life of a Monarch caterpillar, but I am a bit dubious about whether this is the best way to do it.

We have regularly raised them for about 6 years, but last year we didn’t see even ONE butterfly in Rochester, NY, which made us sad and not a bit worried. This year my daughter found an egg! Within 2 days it had hatched and the saga began. Every 2 days or so I take a photo and write something about the progress.

I will also share how we raise them, using pictures and descriptions. We actually have found about 6 more (as of this writing), so you will see how we live with this increasing mess.

However I am putting a link to the page in this post so that I can have the benefit of categories and tags. Check it regularly!

If anyone knows a better way to do this or the right way to use Pages, please drop me a comment or so.

Motorcycle? Car? Both?

Very few people know that I love motorcycles. In fact, although I got my first license in a car, I didn’t actually drive one for years and the first vehicle I really drove (rode) was a motorcycle – almost exclusively for 5 years (very warm climate at the time). They are small, fuel-efficient, and fun to get around in. They are also dangerous.

Minor accidents caused me to drop mine twice, and 750’s are heavy to get upright again – unless you have a burst of adrenalin! Another time I was sideswiped by a driver who decided to deliberately and suddenly turn in front of me – thank God for crash bars! Then a friend of mine ended up in a hospital with over 180 stitches inside and out, took 6 months to recuperate and became addicted to pain killers, and my first husband died in a motorcycle accident. Yeah…

They are also weather dependent, especially for those of us living in 4 seasons. Snow and rain can really take the joy out biking. Fairings, weather gear, and full-face helmets don’t help much in snow, hail and driving rain.

So when I remarried and had kids we decided we would have no motorcycles until they graduate. However, here is an innovation that could break that rule!

Imagine a bike that keeps itself upright, has a place to carry stuff/purchases conveniently, actually protects you from the elements, combines the comforts and benefits of a car (even roll-down windows!) with 2-wheel convenience, the ability to hear each other (and other ambient sounds), no helmets needed, climate control, sound system and more. They are even working to make sure that only a standard driver’s license will be needed, with no motorcycle endorsement required (a plus for those who want one of these but who either don’t have the endorsement or want to go to the trouble to get it).

OK, I know all it doesn’t have (hey, I’m a biker chick), and technically many may not actually consider it a motorcycle, but if you live in an area where you might otherwise only ride for maybe 6 months (if you are lucky!), and if weather issues could make your traveling partner reluctant to go on road trips, this could make you think again.

On this link there is a full description.

And yes, they have a FAQ page: but for those who are just itching to know, base price is $24,000 (the nitty gritty is all in the FAQ, too).

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