Cosmic rays are high energy atomic nuclei travelling near the speed of light that collide with atoms and molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere (primarily with nitrogen and oxygen), breaking down into a shower of particles of various energies in the stratosphere. As they travel earthward, these particles continue to break down and lose energy which results in relatively little ionizing radiation reaching the surface. Due to the scattering of cosmic rays, the angle at which the rays enter the atmosphere can affect the number and energies of ionizing particles detected at various altitudes. When using a standard Geiger counter on a high altitude balloon flight, cosmic rays of all energies and orientations are counted in the same manner making it impossible to determine the origin and history of a particular detection.
How to Cite:
Van Nest, J. D., (2016) “High Altitude Cosmic Ray Detection”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2016(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.9513