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Astrophysics/Cosmic rays


How astronauts are protected from the cosmic rays in the space?

They're generally still within the Earth's magnetic field when they're in orbit for long periods.  Short of that, they're really not, but it's not as bad as it seems.  Cosmic rays are "minimum ionizing" energy particles, meaning they're traveling through spacecraft in an energy range that causes particularly little ionization in whatever they pass through, meaning minimum biological damage.  However, they are not shielded by the atmosphere, and in the end astronauts do take significant (not dangerous, but FAR about ground-level) doses of radioactive dose from cosmic rays and other sources.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


Fusion, solar flares, cosmic rays, radiation in space, and stellar physics questions. Generally, nuclear-related astrophysics, but I can usually point you in the right direction if it's not nuclear-related or if it's nuclear but not astrophysics.


Just moved from being a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin into government work. Doctoral dissertation was on a reaction in CNO-cycle fusion, worked in gamma-ray astronomy in the space science division of the naval research laboratory in the high-energy space environment branch.

Government work as a physical scientist with a nuclear focus.

Ph.D. in physics, research was on nuclear fusion reactions important in stellar fusion, further work on space telescope technology.

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