The Carrington event: Possible doses to crews in space from a comparable event

L. W. Townsend, D. L. Stephens, J. L. Hoff, E. N. Zapp, H. M. Moussa, T. M. Miller, C. E. Campbell, T. F. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Recent ice core analyses suggest that the Carrington event of 1859 may have been the largest solar energetic particle event in the past several hundred years. Previous analyses of potential doses to humans and electronics from such an event suggested that a Carrington-like event, with a hard spectrum similar to that of the event of September 1989 could be catastrophic. Subsequent analyses of the 10 Be concentration in the ice core data suggest that the spectral hardness of the Carrington event was softer and similar to the August 1972 event. In this work we review the earlier estimates of doses from a Carrington event, and present updated dose estimates for deep space crews and electronics using the Carrington event proton fluence ≥30 MeV in combination with an event spectrum similar to that of the August 1972 event. Potential ramifications of these doses for humans and electronics on deep space missions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Carrington Flare
  • Solar energetic particle event
  • Space radiation
  • Space radiation risks
  • Total ionizing doses


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