Sun  ID: 20320

Solar Energetic Particles

The Sun goes through phases of strong activity, during which eruptions can occur. Such eruptions can have multiple components, including X rays, coronal mass ejection plasma, and solar energetic particles – bursts or events of fast-moving particles. These events can occur suddenly and have the potential to rapidly change the radiation environment of wide swaths of the inner solar system where they may create hazardous conditions.

Not only are such conditions dangerous for humans in space, but the intense ionizing radiation can also affect the interior of spacecraft, including sensitive electronics.

Solar energetic particles can reach all regions of near-Earth space, including the lunar surface, with the exception of low-altitude and low-latitude Earth orbit, where the Earth’s magnetic field is strong enough to form a protective barrier.


Animation Credits

Krystofer Kim (USRA): Lead Animator
Joy Ng (USRA): Producer
Genna Duberstein (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Producer
Karen Fox (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Producer
Arik Posner (NASA/HQ): Scientist
Michael Lentz (USRA): Art Director
Walt Feimer (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Animator
Nicola Fox (NASA): Scientist
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
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NASA Science >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions >> Solar Energetic Particle Properties
SVS >> Solar Energetic Particles

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version