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Latest Richard Mewaldt Stories

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2009-09-29 12:30:00

Planning a trip to Mars? Take plenty of shielding. According to sensors on NASA's ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, galactic cosmic rays have just hit a Space Age high. "In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions." The cause of the surge is solar...

2008-12-15 11:10:00

GREENBELT, Md., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity. Not a single atom should remain intact.   At least that's how it's supposed to work.   "We've detected a stream of perfectly intact hydrogen atoms shooting out of an X-class solar flare," says Richard Mewaldt of the California Institute of...

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2008-12-15 11:05:00

Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity. Not a single atom should remain intact. At least that's how it's supposed to work. "We've detected a stream of perfectly intact hydrogen atoms shooting out of an X-class solar flare," says Richard Mewaldt of the California Institute of Technology. "What a surprise! If we can understand how these atoms were...