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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Universe in 101 words: What is 'space brain'?

Above: Earth - protecting us in more ways than we can see.

Earth’s magnetic field forms a bubble which, aside from helping boy scouts get hopelessly lost with a compass, deflects high energy particles away from our planet.

Those are generally bad for people – they cause cancer, radiation sickness, etc - and they damage brain function (or at least it does in lab rats), so astronauts journeying beyond Earth’s magnetic field could expect steadily worsening depression, anxiety, and memory loss

Since insane, cancer ridden astronauts make for bad press NASA are developing shielding against the particles – although matching the power of Earth’s magnetic field will tough. 

Above: The view from a SpaceX launcher, as it leaves Earth behind.

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