~~~ Are you ready for 'Solar Max'? ~~~
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"Not only does God play dice with the Universe,
he sometimes casts them where they can't be seen."

Stephen Hawking

Around the clock, the sky is raining silver and gold - not to mention copper, zinc, hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and other elements. These atomic particles travel near the speed of light toward Earth, steadily drenching the planet with a teeming downpour. If it weren't for the protective umbrellas of our atmosphere and magnetosphere, we'd be soaked.

This web site is dedicated to these particles - cosmic rays, the fastest bits of matter known. Some cosmic rays are flung at us by the Sun, while others come from far beyond our Solar System. Some have more power than scientists have yet been able to explain. Cosmic rays are messengers from space, real samples of star stuff that have traveled for millions of years before reaching us. Astrophysicists study cosmic rays much like biologists study plants and animals - to learn about the world around us.

Cosmicopia contains an abundance (a cornucopia, if you will) of information about cosmic rays, the Earth's magnetosphere, the Sun, space weather, and other exciting topics in space science. Brought to you by the ACE mission and the cosmic ray group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, this site is aimed at the general public and intended to be accessible to interested readers without a background in this area of science.


TRACE sun mosaic Supernova 1006 (ASCA) 30
Doradus ACE
spacecraft TRACE solar flare IMAGE magnetosphere
Click on images above to learn more about them

A service of the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's GSFC

Questions and comments to: cosmicopia@cosmicra.gsfc.nasa.gov
Curator: Dr. Eric R. Christian, NASA
Responsible NASA Official: Dr. Eric R. Christian

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Last modified: April 29, 2013