(Oct 19, 2021)
The space radiation that comes at us from other stars is called galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). Active areas in the galaxy – like supernovae, black holes, and neutron stars – can strip the electrons from atoms and accelerate the nuclei to almost the speed of light, producing GCR.
On Earth, we have three layers of protection from space radiation. The first is the heliosphere, which helps block GCR from reaching the major planets in the solar system. Additionally, Earth’s magnetic field produces a shield called the magnetosphere, which keeps GCR out away from Earth and low-orbiting satellites like the International Space Station. Finally, the gases of Earth’s atmosphere absorb radiation.