I was recently reading the Wikipedia Page for Europa as I am interested in terra-formation. In one of the sentences, it says that:

The radiation level at the surface of Europa is equivalent to a dose of about 5400mSv (540 rem) per day,[32] an amount of radiation that would cause severe illness or death in human beings exposed for a single day.[33]

I know that there are different types of radiation (gamma rays, visible light, infrared, etc.) and was wondering, what is the makeup of the radiation which hits Europa?


The Wikipedia page to which you linked actually has citations which, if followed, would give you the exact information you seek:

(from http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~fringwal/w08a.jup.txt):

Effects of radiation, from solar flares:

  • Makes aurorae (air glows, like fluorescent lamps)
  • Health danger to astronauts
  • Ages spacecraft electronics (2 satellites failed after 1989 March flare)
  • Charges up spacecraft, causes electical problems
  • Charges up high-voltage power lines, caused Hydro Quebec blackout (1989)

Types of radiation:

  • charged particles (protons, electrons, alpha particles (helium nuclei)
  • neutrons
  • ionizing electromagnetic radiation: gamma rays and X-rays

All so energetic, they ionize matter, e.g. your cell membranes.


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