View Full Version : Effects of Cosmic Rays


Kumar
05-18-04, 10:43 AM
Hello,
Can you tell me what are the biological effects of cosmic rays/radiations on humans on earth? You may tell it in two parts (1) Sunlight (2) Other cosmic rays.

Is it true that we do not have any measurable biological effects on humans of cosmic rays at present levels of radiation on earth (other than sunlight)?

Best wishes.

John Connellan
05-19-04, 05:32 AM
The biological effects of sunlight are well documented. Some of them good and most of them bad. Cosmic rays would act like low level x-radiation on our bodies. Another form of free radical generator.

Kumar
05-19-04, 11:10 AM
John Connellan, Thanks for reply. But do the cosmic rays(other than Sunlight) practically/really effect us?

blackholesun
05-19-04, 10:12 PM
Since cosmic rays are ionizing they can damage our DNA causing mutations that can ultimately lead to cancer; but it takes time to do that here on earth's surface. So yeah they can effect us if cosmic rays hit us but our bodies do have a good molecular repairers that can help limit the damage given a collision.

Pete
05-19-04, 10:36 PM
John Connellan, Thanks for reply. But do the cosmic rays(other than Sunlight) practically/really effect us?

I think it is safe to say that a very few people will be indirectly killed by cosmic rays (through cancer).

I think that all people are likely to have individual cells affected by cosmic rays occasionally, but that most of these affects will not spread beyond the cell.

Kumar
05-20-04, 01:02 AM
But do we get exposure to so many cosmic rays here on earth which can regularily hit us & causes mutations,cancer etc.?

John Connellan
05-20-04, 07:15 AM
There are many cosmic rays all the time but what Pete is talking about is that there are rather few interactions between these and our bodies. Most of them pass right through us!

Kumar
05-20-04, 12:40 PM
But when these passes right through our body, don't these causes damages first & then passes through our body? Is there any change in numbers of interactions nowadays due to current environment changes? Can there be any beneficial effect of few interactions of these cosmic rays ( as speculated in Reiki or other sprituals).

blackholesun
05-20-04, 01:07 PM
No, they don't always interact is what John is saying. Sometimes they just pass through our bodies. Remember, comics rays are so penetrative because they can pass through matter without interacting with it....most of the time. They are high energy but they have a very small wavelength.

John Connellan
05-20-04, 01:36 PM
I can't imagine any positive effect of cosmic rays Kumar. I think that is for the spiritual world to speculate!

BigBlueHead
05-20-04, 01:42 PM
There was one case of cosmic rays turning a family of astronauts into superheroes...

"It's clobberin' time!" - The Thing

(Not John Carpenter's The Thing, it just went "Argh".)

blackholesun
05-20-04, 09:21 PM
Not JUST the thing but the entire Fantastic Four!

The Carpenter's Thing went more "SCREEEEECH"

Kumar
05-20-04, 09:56 PM
Thanks for informations. It these cosmic rays are scattered so widely that the chances are very low of there hitting us? Can any substance stop their penetrating/passing spped or hitting the body, just say silica. Astronauts uses some protective measures from these cosmic rays.

John Connellan
05-21-04, 05:34 AM
Thanks for informations. It these cosmic rays are scattered so widely that the chances are very low of there hitting us?

No there are plenty of rays. I think its more the fact that WE are spread so widely that they rarely interact with us!


Can any substance stop their penetrating/passing spped or hitting the body, just say silica. Astronauts uses some protective measures from these cosmic rays.

I doubt that any material on earth would significantly reduce the amount of rays penetrating :)

Kumar
05-21-04, 02:06 PM
John Connellan,
"No there are plenty of rays. I think its more the fact that WE are spread so widely that they rarely interact with us!"

This is not clear to me. Will you pls explain it.

Nasor
05-21-04, 06:06 PM
Kumar: we are probably all hit by many rays every day, but the chances of any given ray causing us health problems is very small.

Starthane Xyzth
05-22-04, 05:58 AM
Cosmic rays have been recorded at the bottom of mine shafts, and can typically penetrate 18 feet of lead. Still fairly mild penetrative power compared with neutrinos!

Solar UV radiation, and radioactive materials in the Earth's crust, are far more likely to cause mutations or cancers in people than cosmic rays. Only if a nearby star became a supernova would extra-Solar radiation have a dramatic effect on Earthly life.

Kumar
05-28-04, 06:32 AM
Can we conclude now that there is practically no biological effect of cosmic rays(other than sun-light) on humans living on earth at their current levels?

If it is true, then, can we say that whatever cosmic effect mentioned in various spritual systems is not from out of body or from cosmic but it can be a ' with in the body' effect?

John Connellan
05-28-04, 12:13 PM
John Connellan,
"No there are plenty of rays. I think its more the fact that WE are spread so widely that they rarely interact with us!"

This is not clear to me. Will you pls explain it.

Sorry Kumar, been away from this thread for so long!

Ok what I mean is that there are plenty of rays and as Nasor pointed out, many of them might hit us directly (i.e. an atom in our body) but really there ais so much space that we are made of (from the cosmic rays point of view) that it will just pass right through us without interacting!

Kumar
05-29-04, 07:29 AM
Whatever is there but it means that these will not effect us & we can conclude as I mentioned in my previous posting.

blackholesun
05-29-04, 03:32 PM
I guess I don't know what you mean in your previous posting.

Kumar
05-30-04, 04:23 AM
Can we conclude now that there is practically no biological effect of cosmic rays(other than sun-light) on humans living on earth at their[cosmic rays] current levels?

If it is true, then, can we say that whatever cosmic effect mentioned in various spritual systems is not from out of body or from cosmic but it can be a ' with in the body's effect?blackholesun,

Don't you understand the above quote poted by me previously?

blackholesun
05-30-04, 11:57 PM
Well when I read it closer I get it a little better idea of what you are saying. You are saying that some religious systems look at cosmic rays as a sort of religious effect right?

Here is an interesting fact. In orbit around earth, shuttle astronauts, and also the Apollo moon astronauts would report seeing flashes of light as a cosmic ray would impact their eyes and would give off a flash of photons from the impact. In space the chances of interaction increase as there are now a larger number of heavy ions and cosmic rays passing through an astronauts body due to the fact that the earth isn't there to stop a good deal of them.

Kumar
05-31-04, 10:12 AM
blackholesun, But I have mentioned for 'humans living on earth'.

blackholesun
05-31-04, 01:28 PM
I know. I was doing a little comparative example of exposure.

Kumar
06-01-04, 12:57 AM
OK, Can we now conclude that we do/can not get any cosmic effect(except sun light),practically, on earth of any type as mentioned in various spritual sayings & energy healing systems & if any of this effect on us is there, that can only be due to 'within our body's changes' only?

Starthane Xyzth
06-01-04, 02:44 AM
I reckon that fairly well sums it up, yes. Although, now and again, the odd cosmic ray will cause a mutation or electronic malfunction - just not routinely, or commonly.

Kumar
06-07-04, 04:39 AM
Now, if we do/can not get any cosmic effect(except sun light), practically, on earth of any type as mentioned in various spritual sayings & energy healing systems & if any of this effect on us is there, that can only be due to 'within our body's changes' only then what/how can be due to 'within our body's changes'? Can we related it to " Cephalic Phase Effect"?

eburacum45
06-07-04, 02:15 PM
No.
Basically, Cosmic rays are bad news. They are so high in energy they can pass through you harmlessly; but if one hits a vital piece of genetic material- the result can be irreversible damage.
We are protected to a certain extent by the Earth's magnetic field, much more by the bulk of the Earth itself; but these high energy photons will be a distinct danger to any long term efforts in space.
They don't have any mystical or philosophical benefits at all; unless it is to imprison ordinary humans on Earth.

Kumar
06-07-04, 08:17 PM
No.
Basically, Cosmic rays are bad news. They are so high in energy they can pass through you harmlessly; but if one hits a vital piece of genetic material- the result can be irreversible damage.


But at their current level they are not effecting us, practically. It was discussed above.

Btw, how these cosmic rays or high energy photons are so high in energy?

blackholesun
06-07-04, 09:45 PM
That's easy enough. Astronomical events that produce high energy radiation and ions. Gamma ray bursters (blackholes colliding, neutron stars colliding, massive supernovi), typical sized supernovi...basically things that release a great deal of energy in a destructive astrophysical process.

Kumar
06-08-04, 07:29 AM
blackholesun,

But how these particles can be more energized/powerful than sunlight on earth? When these charged particles come towards the earth--are these furthur become more energized/charged due to velocity & resistances?

blackholesun
06-08-04, 09:22 AM
No they start off that way. The sun is really just a lightweight in the universe. It's output doesn't accelerate ions or release the amound of energy like that of a supernova or neutron star collision. Even accretion rings around medium sized black holes make the sun look weak. All these events are unimaginably powerful. And being that far away doesn't matter. There's nothing to slow down the ions that are thrown off at 75% the speed of light in some cases. And cosmic ray bursts travel at light speed anyhow.

Starthane Xyzth
06-08-04, 09:36 AM
The Sun generates light and other radiation ina steady nuclear reaction at a temperature of about 15 million Kelvins. The sort of extreme astronomical events to which Blackholesun referred involve much higher energy levels - in the core of a supernova, where a new neutron star is formed, temperatures can become become almost incalculable...

Gravitational potential energy is calculated as GMm / r, where M & m are the masses of two attracting bodies. In the case of a collapsing stellar core, which contracts under its own gravity, this becomes GM^2 / r.

If the core mass is, for example, 1.4 Solar masses (the radius of a 1.4 Solar-mass neutron star is around 12 km):

Energy released = 6.673x10^-11 x (1.4 x 1.989x10^30)^2 / 12000
= 4.2815 x 10^46 joules.

The amount of energy radiated by the Sun every second is "only"
3.862 x 10^26 joules - and that is from a reacting stellar core much larger than the Earth. The supernova's one-off blast of energy is released from a region only 24 km across. :eek:
It follows, then, that the photons and neutrinos generated in the supernova will be SO energetic that Solar photons and neutrinos hardly seem worthy of mention in the same sentence. :(

Kumar
06-08-04, 11:16 AM
blackholesun, Starthane Xyzth,

Thanks for explainations.Cosmic-ray particles that arrive at the top of the Earth's atmosphere are termed primaries; their collisions with atmospheric nuclei give rise to secondaries.
When we say cosmic rays practically with no effect on humans on earth, do we mean both primaries & secondaries or just primaries?

blackholesun
06-08-04, 12:30 PM
The impacts mostly create mesons (harmless) and elemental byproducts of hitting the upper atmosphere's gasses. Those rarely get down to the earth's surface so there is no point in worrying what effects there may be.

Kumar
06-08-04, 10:20 PM
The impacts mostly create mesons (harmless) and elemental byproducts of hitting the upper atmosphere's gasses. Those rarely get down to the earth's surface so there is no point in worrying what effects there may be. Can you please explain it bit more?

Zarkov
06-09-04, 04:00 AM
>> Can you tell me what are the biological effects of cosmic rays/radiations on humans on earth?

On Earth little problems.

Apparently astronauts in Earth obit can close their eyes and see bright flashes.. cosmic rays passing into their eyeballs.

I expect this would eventually cause blindness (as well as other biological changes to the rest of the body)

All in all NOT GOOD

cosmictraveler
06-09-04, 07:12 AM
Thanks for talking so much about me! ;)

Starthane Xyzth
06-09-04, 04:38 PM
Well, let's just say that exposure to unfiltered cosmic rays in space would definitely not empower you to become invisible, stretch your body like putty, or turn into living flame at will... it just might gain you compensation for personal injuries at work, though.

optic
06-09-04, 06:24 PM
An essay way of picturing what john is saying is. Imagine an atom expanded to the size of a football field where the track running around the out side equals the orbit of the electron. The nucleus of the atom would be about the size of a grain of sand. This leaves plenty of room for cosmic radiation to pass through your body with out hitting any thing.

Kumar
06-10-04, 12:23 AM
Thanks for explaination. But I want to know that when we say cosmic ray/radiation hitting us on earth, these are primaries or secondaries.

John Connellan
06-10-04, 03:54 AM
Im sure both can. Secondaries will have less energy though.

Kumar
06-10-04, 07:54 AM
John, But when we say cosmic rays practically not hitting us on earth--these includes both primaries & secondaries or we just consider primaries. I just want to know that if secondaries are hitting us in substancial quantity or not? Whether these are harmful or harmless is a secondary question.

blackholesun
06-10-04, 08:34 AM
They are just as harmless as they are much less energetic...similar to normal background radiation.

Kumar
06-10-04, 01:15 PM
blackholesun, but how much they(secondaries) are hitting us?

blackholesun
06-10-04, 01:27 PM
Not much as most the upper and lower atmosphere absorbs most of the secondary. Some of the mesons do make it to the gound. In fact this process was used to validate special relativity because the half-life of mesons is pretty short. The fact that some were making to the ground from that for up made the case for time dilation was affecting those mesons that were moving at relativistic velocites.

John Connellan
06-10-04, 02:09 PM
Why are u so interested in the details of exactly how many secondaries hit us Kumar?! R u gonna do a detailed statistical analysis of how many mutant people should be walking around the earth as a result of secondary mesons? :D

Kumar
06-11-04, 05:10 AM
John, I just want to ensure/assess Cosmic effects as mentioned in spritual systems. If secondaries with lesser energy are hitting us in substancial quantity regularily or sesonally, we may have assess their beneficial or harmful effects on us. :)

John Connellan
06-11-04, 05:58 AM
But we have already discussed that they are not harmful in the everyday quantities!

Kumar
06-11-04, 12:34 PM
But we have already discussed that they are not harmful in the everyday quantities! It is ok, but what is their(secondaries) everyday quantity hitting us?

John Connellan
06-11-04, 12:51 PM
I have no idea. Im sure it might not even be possible to get even a fairly accurate estimate anywhere since it means nothing to most people! Unfortunately, sometimes, scientific research only follows the most productive (which ususally means money) paths.

Kumar
06-11-04, 11:06 PM
I have no idea. Im sure it might not even be possible to get even a fairly accurate estimate anywhere since it means nothing to most people! Unfortunately, sometimes, scientific research only follows the most productive (which ususally means money) paths.

John, thanks. It may mean that possibility for 'spritual cosmic effects' is still there as secondaries are low energy particle which may not damage but may provide some short of energy.

Starthane Xyzth
06-12-04, 06:38 AM
Well, let's face it - there is certainly more within the human mind and body than medical science has described. If you wish to believe in spiritual or physcological effects of cosmic radiation, no-one can disprove your belief; but others may choose not to share it, unless you can provide proof.

ElectricFetus
06-12-04, 06:49 AM
Cosmic rays are part of background radiation, what effects they have on use is debated. Low-level radiation might be beneficial as it cause DNA repair mechanism to stay active.

optic
06-20-04, 06:42 PM
Cosmic rays are not the same as back ground radiation. Back ground radiation is caused by the large amounts hydrogen in our universe. This hydrogen is left over from the big bang. Cosmic radiation is produced by stars. And the suns rays are strong enough that they penetrate many miles in to the earth.

ElectricFetus
06-20-04, 09:02 PM
optic,

What kind of bullshit is that? http://www.cheesebuerger.de/smiliegenerator/vorschau/42875.png
perhaps you could explain your theory better?

Pete
06-20-04, 11:21 PM
Hi optic, and welcome to the forum.
Don't worry, we're not all gutter trash here.

Fetus,
What optic is saying is:
Background radiation (CMBR) is low-energy microwave radiation radiated from hot hydrogen not long after the Big Bang.
Cosmic Rays are high-energy particles that come from many sources in space (the Sun, Supernovae, Quasars, etc).
Cosmic Rays (including those from the Sun) and the remnants of cosmic ray collisions in the atmosphere can reach deep underground.

optic
06-21-04, 02:40 AM
Good Iím glade. If these people would read scientific American they would know these things.

Sometimes I wonder if they are arguing science or the English langage.

optic
06-21-04, 03:40 AM
Hydrogen is the most plentiful element it makes up 90% of all the atoms in the universe. This is because it takes the least amount of energy to form. Many The heaver elements in the universe have to go through star formation before they are created

After the big bang there was a period when the universe was so hot that nothing could bond together it was astutely plasma. This plasma was so active and so hot that light didnít exist. Once the universe started to cool photons, quarks, neutrinos, baryons, and electrons formed. Than slightly later the quarks began to bond together to form protons and neutrons. As the universe cooled slightly more the electrons began to orbit the protons most of these only had one proton (hydrogen) some had two (helium) and a few had three (lithium).


In 1948 Ralph Alpher predicted that if the big bang happened there would be huge amounts of hydrogen left over. Hydrogen produces radiation. If there were actually large amounts hydrogen left over in the universe than there would be a constant flow of radiation reaching earth. This was first observed in 1950. And later confirmed 1n 1965.

ElectricFetus
06-21-04, 07:34 AM
Oh I thought we were talking about ionizing radiation here.

Little_Star
07-06-04, 10:27 AM
Anybody works in cosmic ray -biology area???

Facial
07-07-04, 12:07 AM
I wonder if any of the photodissociative EM radiation from stars, the type that is generated from the cores of supernovae that can destroy iron nuclei, escapes to hit us.

hotsexyangelprincess
07-07-04, 12:30 AM
we have the van-allen magentic belts to help us. :m: