Hard Radiation

Avatar Author: dkscully "Stand back! I have a keyboard and I'm not afraid to use it." This site is totally awesome. I really enjoyed ficlets.com (where I went by my alternative handle of kjaneway), and I thought that it was a great shame that... Read Bio

Solar flares are an astronaut’s worst nightmare.

I mean, there’s other stuff to worry about, as you hurtle through space in the tin can you’re calling home. Running out of air, because the scrubbing system’s failed, or, perhaps, explosive decompression following a collision with a random speck of grit. Space isn’t a safe place, and your ship might as well be made of cotton candy when it comes to most of the things out here.

But solar flares… hell.

It’s not like you’re ever going to get caught in one, directly. You’d have boiled off into a small cloud of atoms well before you got that close to a star. It’s not what you see that’s so bad, though.

It’s what you can’t see.

The harsh rain of high energy X-rays and gamma rays that slices through the hull as if it were nothing more than a paper bag. They are an invisible killer that wreak havoc on biological matter, painlessly ripping apart the complex molecules of life.

These are the thoughts that run through my head as I sit here waiting for the all clear.

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Comments (3 so far!)

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  1. Avatar ethelthefrog

    The sense of isolation is palpable. Space is not a safe place.

  2. Avatar DoItForScience

    Thank Physics for magnetic Faraday cages, hey?

  3. Avatar Match

    Mmm – factual stories are wonderful things – when they take you to a very palpable place, in someone elses shoes.