There has been an approximate 13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons, since March 2015.
While neutron monitors have long been considered a 'gold standard' for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth, the correlation between data collected by Earth to Sky and neutron monitors is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies, Dr. Phillips said. "This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality. Right now, the 11-year solar cycle is plunging into one of the deepest minima of the Space Age."
"The Sun’s weakening magnetic field and flagging solar wind are not protecting us as usual from deep-space radiation. Earth to Sky balloon launches in multiple countries and US states show that this is a widespread phenomenon."
Credit for Image at top of Page: Earth to Sky Calculus/SpaceWeather.com