Are radiations from space are harmful or not

Radiations from outer space and the radiations present in our atmosphere
There are a numerous of radiations present in our universe which can be useful for us in a certain amount and there are many radiations also which can cause hazardous effects to our body and also the surroundings also. All radiations have some impact on our body, though some have more or some may have less, but every radiation have some impact.
Let’s talk about some of the radiations known to us
1.      Ultra violet radiation
2.      Alpha radiation
3.      Gamma radiation
4.      Beta radiation
5.      X-Ray
6.      Neutron radiation etc.
That’s are the known radiations to us.
Now talking about these radiations in brief.

Ultra Violet Radiation

These are the very powerful radiations which can be useful in a low amount but it is very hazardous with the increase in the number. As we all know the main source of ultraviolet radiation is Sun. Most of the radiations comes through the sun. This type of radiations are absorbed by the air and the ozone layer, by which out earth is surrounded. Due to the presence of the ozone layer we are able to live on earth. If there is no ozone layer present on earth then our living cannot be possible on earth. Sadly, this ozone layer is depleting day by day due to the excessive release of the chloro floro carbons which reduces the ozone layer, thus helping the ultraviolet radiation to come to earth directly which is hazardous. They have a wavelength of about 10nm to 125nm.

Alpha Radiation

These are helium-4 nuclei meaning that it contains two protons and two neutrons. Alpha particles interacts with matter mainly due to their charges and combined mass. Alpha particles at their usual velocities can only penetrate a few centimetres of air, or a few millimetres of low density material (such as the thin mica material which is specially used in some Geiger counter tubes to allow alpha particles in).
This means that alpha particles from ordinary alpha decay are not able to penetrate through the outer layers of dead skin cells. So they cannot cause damage to the live tissues below. Some very high energy alpha particles compose about 10% of cosmic rays which are capable of penetrating the body and even thin metal plates. However, Alpha radiations are a danger only to astronauts because they are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field and then stopped by its atmosphere.
Alpha radiation are very dangerous when alpha-emitting radioisotopes are ingested or inhaled (breathed or swallowed). The most famous example is Alexander Litvinenko. He was poisoned by polonium-210, an alpha emitter, in his tea which was the reason of his death.

Gamma Radiation

While talking about the gamma radiation, First thing come to mind is HULK. Gamma radiation are not like alpha or beta as it does not contain any particles instead consisting of a photon of energy being emitted from an unstable nucleus. As gamma rays do not have any mass or charge it can travel much farther through air than alpha or beta while losing (on average) half its energy for every 500 feet. Gamma waves’ transmission can be stopped or blocked with the help of a thick or dense enough layer material having high atomic number materials such as lead or depleted uranium being the most effective form of shielding.

Beta radiation

Beta radiation takes the form of either an electron or a positron (a particle with the size and mass of an electron, but with a positive charge) being emitted from an atom. Due to the smaller mass Beta radiations are able to travel up to a long distance in air approximate a few meters and can be easily stopped by a thick piece of plastic or even a stack of paper.
It can also penetrate skin a few centimetres making somewhat of an external health risk. However, the main threat is still primarily from internal emission of Beta radiations from ingested material.

X – Rays

X-rays are similar to gamma radiation. The primary difference between the X-rays and the gamma radiation is that X-rays originate from the electron cloud. This is generally caused by the energy change in an electron which occurs when an electron moves from a higher energy level to a lower one causing the excess energy to be released. X-Rays are longer-wavelength and (usually) lower energy than gamma radiation. The X-rays are used in a variety of purposes in health care problems such as to view or scan the internal parts of a human being.

Neutron Radiations

They consists of a free neutron usually emitted by spontaneous or induced nuclear fission. Neutron Radiations are able to travel hundreds or even thousands of meters in air. Neutron radiation can be effectively stopped if they are blocked by a hydrogen-rich material such as concrete or water.
Neutrons are most commonly indirectly ionizing. Meaning that they are absorbed into a stable atom and makes it unstable and more likely to emit off ionizing radiation of another type. Hence, Neutrons are the only type of radiation that has the ability to turn other materials radioactive.
There are also various types of radiations also found in the outer space.
The outer space radiations can also be called as Cosmic Radiation. These type of radiations are continuously emitted by the sun. These type of radiations are mostly protons and have really very high energy. However further research is going on these type of radiations. To study their transmission and the effect of these radiations on human body.
That’s all for this blog.
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Written by Be Curious Team

We are a team of experts who expertise in different things and share knowledge with the help of different articles at Be Curious - Depth of Knowledge.