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What are Cosmic Rays? ~ Tony Baxter

The talk attempts to answer the question What are Cosmic Rays and divides roughly into four parts: 

  • The historical realisation of the presence of a non-terrestrial source of radiations.
  • Identifying the composition of the radiation, distinguishing between the primary radiation hitting the atmosphere from the secondary products observed at ground level, that led to the discovery of new elementary particles in the 20 year period post-1932.
  • Describing the technique for ground based monitoring, set up across the globe for the IGY in 1957, and continuing to this day to examine the solar to terrestrial environment and interactions
  • Finally moving to the present day to highlight recent progress on the origin of the radiation and experimental techniques for the future, engaging a large number of research scientists worldwide

Curiously, one point to note is that gamma-ray astronomy became detached from cosmic rays as separate subject, akin to X-ray astronomy, but now is very much back in the fold as satellite coverage can only utilise a low detection area, whereas, ground based techniques based on atmospheric interactions, not only widens the detection area to record the fainter higher energy events, but are becoming integral to establishing the origin of the charged components of extra-galactic cosmic rays.


Tracking and recording weather satellites ~ Bob Okines

Simon Allen and I have been attempting to track and record transmissions from Polar Orbiting Weather Satellites.  I will give a presentation on their endeavours and problems encountered.  I have had some success and will hopefully be able to provide a live feed direct from a passing satellite.

The satellite wont wait for us so we will need to be prepared to start the presentation promptly.

The Local Group