Author(s): Btikofer R, Flckiger EO, Desorgher L, Moser MR
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Abstract In January 2005 toward the end of solar activity cycle 23 the Sun was very active. Between 15 and 20 January 2005, the solar active region NOAA AR 10720 produced five powerful solar flares. In association with this major solar activity several pronounced variations in the ground-level cosmic ray intensity were observed. The fifth of these flares (X7.1) produced energetic solar cosmic rays that caused a giant increase in the count rates of the ground-based cosmic ray detectors (neutron monitors). At southern polar neutron monitor stations the increase of the count rate reached several thousand percent. From the recordings of the worldwide network of neutron monitors, we determined the characteristics of the solar particle flux near Earth. In the initial phase of the event, the solar cosmic ray flux near Earth was extremely anisotropic. The energy spectrum of the solar cosmic rays was fairly soft during the main and the decay phase. We investigated also the flux of different secondary particle species in the atmosphere and the radiation dosage at flight altitude. Our analysis shows a maximum increment of the effective dose rate due to solar cosmic rays in the south polar region around 70 degrees S and 130 degrees E at flight altitude of almost three orders of magnitude.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Air & Water Borne Diseases