Solar Eclipse 2024: Are cosmic rays harmful?

There's a buzz on social media that cosmic radiation during Total Solar Eclipse are dangerous

By Web Desk
April 08, 2024
Solar Eclipse 2024: Is cosmic radiation harmful? — Nasa

With the Total Solar Eclipse approaching the Earth within hours, people are worried about their health being affected by cosmic rays.

A message has been circulating on social media that people should switch off their mobile phones at midnight to ensure that they aren’t adversely affected.


Only Mental Health reported that the message also advises people to keep away devices — phones, tablets, etc — from their bodies between 12:30am-3:30m.

The message further claims that the phones would be exposed to high levels of radiation, which would harm the body.

However, you need not worry. These messages and claims are false as human beings are shielded from solar radiation by Earth's thick atmosphere.

What are cosmic rays?

The US CDC notes that cosmic radiation consists of high-energy charged particles, x-rays and gamma rays produced in space. Charged particles react with the earth’s atmosphere to produce secondary radiation which reaches the earth.

Cosmic radiation is produced by the stars, including our own sun.

Another form of radiation that comes from our sun is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation is not considered cosmic radiation. Unlike cosmic radiation, UV radiation is lower in energy and is considered non-ionizing radiation.

Health can be affected by cosmic rays?

In 2017, Nasa said that pregnant individuals can watch the eclipse and even if a child is born during the celestial event, its health remains fine.

The space agency asserted that there's little cause for health-related worries concerning solar eclipses.

It added that among a random sample of people, people may find such correlations from time to time but they are outnumbered by all the other occasions during which a person’s health was excellent.

But you have to make sure that you wear eclipse glasses to ensure that your eyes remain safe as looking directly into the sun during the celestial event can cause damage to the eye — and it could be permanent.

Disclaimer: This may not work for everyone. Consult your doctor before trying this out.