A variety of events such as gamma-ray bursts and supernovae may expose the Earth to an increased flux of high-energy cosmic rays, with potentially important effects on the biosphere. Existing atmospheric chemistry software does not have the capability of incorporating the effects of substantial cosmic ray flux above 10 GeV. An atmospheric code, the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center two-dimensional (latitude, altitude) time-dependent atmospheric model (NGSFC), is used to study atmospheric chemistry changes. Using CORSIKA, we have created tables that can be used to compute high energy cosmic ray (10 GeV-1 PeV) induced atmospheric ionization and also, with the use of the NGSFC code, can be used to simulate the resulting atmospheric chemistry changes. We discuss the tables, their uses, weaknesses, and strengths.
- Cosmic ray theory
- Ultra high energy cosmic rays
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics