Galactic cosmic rays come from outside the solar system. They are a mixture of high-energy photons and sub-atomic particles accelerated toward Earth by supernova explosions and other violent events in the cosmos. Our first line of defense is the sun: The sun’s magnetic field and solar wind combine to create a porous ‘shield’ that fends off cosmic rays attempting to enter the solar system. The shielding action of the sun is strongest during Solar Maximum and weakest during Solar Minimum–hence the 11-year rhythm of the mission duration plot above. Another effect Solar Minimum has on our planet: the upper atmosphere is responding with chilling results.
August: Mars and Saturn were visible, bright in Sagittarius on clear nights. The Persieds peaked on August 11 and 12. Best viewed after midnight, missed in our portal!
September: Mars was still bright and visible in CAPRICORNUS this month. Our Mars rover Opportunity was buried by a large dust storm and stalled without communication for some time. Saturn is still in Sagittarius and shines bright in the tea pot. This month brought many cloudy nights and lots of rain. Way over our Average! Brought the aquifer up to a normal levels……
NASA Has Some Cool Space Sounds You Can Use for Ringtones
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