Role of Nuclear Stars in the Light Flashes Observed on Skylab 4.
Scientific rept. no. 3, 1 May 75-30 Apr 76,
EMMANUEL COLL BOSTON MASS
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The astronauts on Skylab 4 observed bursts of intense visual light-flash activity when their spacecraft passed through the portion of the earths inner trapped radiation belt known as the South Atlantic Anomaly SAA. Two experimental sessions were carried out on board Skylab which compare the flash rates with the measured flux of Z greater than or equal to 1 particles that would pass through the astronauts eyes. It was concluded that the flash rates, which became as great as 20minute, were anomalously high. The authors explored a number of alternative explanations for the anomalous flash rates that would be consistent with the accepted SAA flux values and the laboratory data on particle induced visual sensations and found that when one includes the effect of nuclear interactions in and near the retina which result in star formation the emission of slow protons, neutrons, and alphas from the nucleus in an evaporation-like process the apparent anomaly is removed.