Would This Be Deadly Radiation?

  • Thread starter MattRob
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In summary: So E = 1.74 * 10-19 eV.In summary, radiation from Io turns into plasma and travels around Jupiter at 74 km/s. This is not energetic enough to penetrate skin, but it would be dangerous for a manned spacecraft within the torus.
  • #1
MattRob
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Hello; Quick question for anyone who knows a bit about radiation...

So, Io puts out a lot of gas which turns into plasma and forms a torus around Jupiter. Jupiter's magnetic field and spinning causes the plasma to move along the torus at 74 km/s.

Would individual particles like this, traveling at 74 km/s in extreme trace amounts, act as a type of radiation that would necessitate radiation shielding for a manned spacecraft within the torus?

The particles in this case would be ionized sulfur, oxygen, sodium, and chlorine.
For the purposes of a book I'm writing, I'm curious if the effects would be different for any other elements, such as nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium...

This is in general physics, because although the circumstances are astronautical, the question itself has more to do with radiation than astrophysics.

Thanks.
 
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  • #2
I don't know about radiation, but even a small rock traveling at 74 km/s will take care of all your worries.
 
  • #3
Just take the particle traveling at 74km/s and find its energy in MeV. It would also depend on the particle flux as to the damage inflicted on living tissue. A low flux area of high MeV alpha particles (i.e., high enough so that it can penetrate the dead skin cell layers) can do as much damage as a high flux area of lower energy beta particles.
 
  • #4
Wow. Even at 400,000km radius, those particles would complete a circuit (not really an orbit) in 15 hours.
 
  • #5
74 km/s for protons is only 30 eV. Not energetic enough to penetrate skin.
 
  • #6
QuantumPion said:
74 km/s for protons is only 30 eV. Not energetic enough to penetrate skin.

Alright, Thank you! A solid, direct answer to my question :smile:

Even larger particles such as entire atoms probably won't be able to penetrate the exterior of the vehicle, never mind the exterior of the vehicle and then the crew's skin.

I think it's safe to assume that anything that can stop micrometeorites would be plenty of protection.

DaveC426913 said:
Wow. Even at 400,000km radius, those particles would complete a circuit (not really an orbit) in 15 hours.

Good observation. That's the rotation period of Jupiter, the particles are pushed along by Jupiter's magnetic fields; as such, they match Jupiter's rotation rate. Much like a MPD engine, a railgun, or a coilgun.

daveb said:
Just take the particle traveling at 74km/s and find its energy in MeV. It would also depend on the particle flux as to the damage inflicted on living tissue. A low flux area of high MeV alpha particles (i.e., high enough so that it can penetrate the dead skin cell layers) can do as much damage as a high flux area of lower energy beta particles.

That would be great advice... If I knew how to find a particle's energy in MeV, never mind finding the flux area...
 
  • #7
MattRob said:
That would be great advice... If I knew how to find a particle's energy in MeV, never mind finding the flux area...

In the classical sense (since 74km/s isn't relativistic), E = 1/2 mv2, then convert J to eV.
 

Related to Would This Be Deadly Radiation?

1. What is considered deadly radiation?

Deadly radiation is any form of radiation that has the potential to cause harm or death to living organisms. This includes high levels of ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, as well as exposure to radioactive materials.

2. How does radiation cause harm to the body?

Radiation damages cells in the body by breaking the chemical bonds that hold them together. This can lead to mutations in DNA, which can cause health problems such as cancer or genetic disorders. High levels of radiation can also damage organs and tissues, leading to radiation sickness or death.

3. What factors determine the level of danger from radiation?

The level of danger from radiation depends on several factors, including the type of radiation, the amount of radiation exposure, and the duration of exposure. Other factors such as the age and health of the individual can also impact the level of danger.

4. How can we protect ourselves from deadly radiation?

There are various ways to protect ourselves from deadly radiation, such as limiting exposure and using protective gear like lead aprons or radiation suits. It is also important to follow safety procedures and guidelines when working with or around sources of radiation.

5. Can any level of radiation be safe?

Some level of radiation exposure is inevitable and can even be beneficial, such as in medical imaging. However, there is no known safe level of exposure to ionizing radiation. It is important to minimize exposure and follow safety guidelines to reduce the risk of harm.

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