Solar Cosmic Radiation – Solar Particle Event

Cosmic Radiation - Natural Source of Radiation
Source: License: Public Domain

Solar cosmic radiation refers to sources of radiation in the form of high-energy particles (predominantly protons) emitted by the Sun, primarily in solar particle events (SPEs). The solar radiation incident on the upper atmosphere consist mostly of protons (99%), with energies generally below 100 MeV.  Solar particle events, for example, occur when protons emitted by the Sun become accelerated either close to the Sun during a flare or in interplanetary space by coronal mass ejection shocks. Note that, the Sun has an 11-year cycle, which culminates in a dramatic increase in the number and intensity of solar flares, especially during periods when there are numerous sunspots.

Solar radiation is a significant radiation hazard to spacecraft and astronauts, also produces significant dose rates at high altitudes, but only the most energetic radiation contribute to doses at ground level. ┬áNote that, anyone who had been on the Moon’s surface during a particularly violent solar eruption in 2005 would have received a lethal dose.


Radiation Protection:

  1. Knoll, Glenn F., Radiation Detection and Measurement 4th Edition, Wiley, 8/2010. ISBN-13: 978-0470131480.
  2. Stabin, Michael G., Radiation Protection and Dosimetry: An Introduction to Health Physics, Springer, 10/2010. ISBN-13: 978-1441923912.
  3. Martin, James E., Physics for Radiation Protection 3rd Edition, Wiley-VCH, 4/2013. ISBN-13: 978-3527411764.
  5. U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1 and 2. January 1993.

Nuclear and Reactor Physics:

  1. J. R. Lamarsh, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Theory, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).
  2. J. R. Lamarsh, A. J. Baratta, Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 3d ed., Prentice-Hall, 2001, ISBN: 0-201-82498-1.
  3. W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 2001, ISBN: 0- 471-39127-1.
  4. Glasstone, Sesonske. Nuclear Reactor Engineering: Reactor Systems Engineering, Springer; 4th edition, 1994, ISBN: 978-0412985317
  5. W.S.C. Williams. Nuclear and Particle Physics. Clarendon Press; 1 edition, 1991, ISBN: 978-0198520467
  6. G.R.Keepin. Physics of Nuclear Kinetics. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co; 1st edition, 1965
  7. Robert Reed Burn, Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Operation, 1988.
  8. U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics and Reactor Theory. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1 and 2. January 1993.
  9. Paul Reuss, Neutron Physics. EDP Sciences, 2008. ISBN: 978-2759800414.

See above:

Cosmic Radiation