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Astronauts, and those mysterious flashes of light in deep space. During the spaceflight of the Apollo missions, astronauts observed in their field of those who described themselves as glows and flashes of light. These flashes of light varied in shape, size, and color, and for a long time remained a mystery. Not knowing in those early years what it was, the assumptions were many, and as the astronauts far away from Earth, in a “suspended dimension of the solar system”, began in encrypted alien messages play, warnings of some hostile race against pioneers of the universe, science fiction, and other explanations.
In fact many years later he returned to find an ancient theory formulated in 1952 by the physicist Cornelius Tobias, I hypothesize that even then, that cosmic rays in any space mission could interact through the eyes of astronauts and stimulating producing abnormal visual perceptions. Those who today are known as “Light Flashes” are the only physical phenomenon in which man is able to see the elementary particles without the use of tools. A fascinating explanation in its simplicity and for this increasingly questioned.
Flashes of different shapes and sizes
During the testimonies collected by astronauts to return from their missions, it was reported for various types of lightning, probably related to the different types of possible interactions: a single strip, multiple tracks simultaneously, a very bright star, and so forth. However, when trying to identify the physical mechanisms underlying the interaction between cosmic rays and the visual apparatus, many problems arise, linked to the need to correlate the observations from a detector of the electronic type particles with the sensations experienced by astronauts. The importance of these studies is due – among other things – the possibility that the Flashes of Light represent the classical tip of the iceberg represented by neuro-physiological effects are far more complex and hidden. Systematic studies of Flashes of Light began already on subsequent lunar missions (Apollo 14-17, 1971 to 1972), then continuing on Skylab (1974) and the Apollo-Soyuz (1975). The ground was also joined by various tests on particle accelerators. Studies on Flashes of light are then taken in the 90 aboard the Russian Mir space station with Sileye program and now continue on the International Space Station.
What the long-term exposure to cosmic radiation cause of the problems was suspected for some time. One of the most frequent health problems for astronauts is Cataract, that is the loss of transparency of the lens. Usually, it is a problem related to old age, but in astronauts is a high risk to suffer much earlier, in relation to the fact that exposure to cosmic radiation involves a deterioration of the crystalline lens. But if the cataract was a known disease, the light flashes during sleep of the astronauts or in the dark, they remained for a long time something enigmatic.
From these experiments – that accompanied the space exploration in all its phases – it has emerged as the most likely three types of interactions. There is direct stimulation by ionization of the retina or optic nerve; nuclear interaction of a proton that produces many secondary particles, giving rise to an overall stimulation; the emission of Cherenkov light (the same one that gives the typical bluish color to the pools of nuclear power plants) in the eyeball of astronauts. From the data obtained so far at the moment, it would appear that in the space take place all three of these phenomena, albeit with different probabilities. On the investigated phenomenon in the mid-nineties also an international group formed by Italian scientists. In particular, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and with technicians Laben-Finmeccanica collaborated to develop a helmet that we first explained the operation. To wear it was the cosmonaut Sergei Avdeev in ‘period of two missions in 1995 and 1997 experienced the system. It was found then that even Earth, blind or susceptibility to migraine attacks or seizures “saw” the same lightning.
Scientific research has allowed over time to develop the most effective shields against cosmic radiation, but not zero risks. In addition, in the case of solar or magnetic storms to date, no real super flares protection is able to ensure the safety of the astronauts especially if these are invested when hovering in space.
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