In this case I mean subatomic particles zipping around space at extremely high velocities. These can penetrate the human body and smack into our DNA molecules in the cells, which can cause replication errors (bad) or do so much damage the cells die (worse). In small doses the body can repair the damage, but if the dose is too high — either through one big event or low levels for a long time — it can be fatal.
Space is soaked in these particles. They come from two sources. One is the Sun itself, which blasts out particles as part of the solar wind. It also has explosive eruptions called solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that hugely magnify the number of particles.
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