Monthly Archives: July 2012

Coronal Mass Ejection – Detection

Filed under Radiation, Science
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On July 14, 2012 at 1424 EDT (1824 UTC, and 2:24PM local time) I believe that I detected a Coronal Mass Ejection, herein CME, an event where the sun bursts a massive amount of charged particles into space. These events are akin to solar flares, though not actually the same thing. The CME was detected by various organizations around the world and easily seen at SpaceWeather.com. At exatly 1824 UTC my detection units both noted a spike in high energy photon readings (gamma or X-ray from 10keV to 5 MeV).

Methods:

The Nekonome II Gamma Spectrometer, using a Radiation Sensors 6S6P1.5VD NaI(Tl) scintillation detector and a UCS30 MCA was run in multi-channel scaling mode, allowing for a gross count of detected photons for 60 second periods. The results were displayed as an x/y graph with the vertical y axis representing counts and the x axis representing time in increments of 60 seconds. A pancake Geiger Meuller detect with an LND7317 tube and an SE International Geiger counter was placed over other scintillation crystal. As a result, any photon radiation from the sun which impacted the crystal must also pass through the Geiger tube. Both units ran in concert for about an hour and the results were examined.

Coronal Mass Ejection

Coronal Mass Ejection

Results:

Both the output from Nekonome II and Geiger Graph software running on RadiationNetwork.com displayed a larger peak at 1824 UTC. This peak coincided with data from SpaceWeather.com indicating the strike of a CME at that same time. The most likely cause for the detection was a localized particle shower, yet the heavy lead shielding around the crystal detection ensure the energy detected must be above 500 keV and is more than likely above 1 MeV in energy. Without a high range gamma spectrometer, there is not conclusive proof of this find, but very probable data.

From Geiger Graph and the Geiger counter
68 7/14/12 02:21 PM 43 2,262 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
69 7/14/12 02:22 PM 40 2,302 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
70 7/14/12 02:23 PM 31 2,333 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
71 7/14/12 02:24 PM 59 2,392 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59 < - Note the elevated reading.
72 7/14/12 02:25 PM 35 2,427 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
73 7/14/12 02:26 PM 36 2,463 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59
74 7/14/12 02:27 PM 40 2,503 33 38.295861 -77.491647 59

From Nekonome II (UCS30)
60: 130 | 130 | 126 | 145 | 114 | 150 | 128 | 145 | 139 | 142 |
70: 169 | 129 | 115 | 127 | 150 | 153 | 140 | 145 | 146 | 150 | < - Note the elevated reading at minute 70 (minute 70 is 1824 UTC)
80: 134 | 161 | 125 | 137 | 127 | 135 | 132 | 158 | 139 | 128 |

Nekonome II:
_______________________________________________________________
mean 138.953
median 139. (8 occurrences)
s.d. 12.0346
minimum 109. (element 24)
maximum 169. (element 70)
Total 17,786

169 – 138.953 = 30.047 / 12.0346 = 2.5 StdDiv

Geiger Graph:
_______________________________________________________________
mean 34.0816
median 34. (10 occurrences)
s.d. 5.55697
minimum 21. (element 56)
maximum 59. (element 38)
Total 3340

59 – 34.0816 = 24.9184 / 5.55697 = 4.5 StdDiv