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The Sun protects us from cosmic rays from beyond the solar system. Every 11 years, the Sun's poles reverse.

Solar cosmic rays are greatest during the reversal.

During the reversal, are we hit by more galactic cosmic rays too? Does the reversal reduce the Sun's protection from them?

Would that harm astronauts heading for Mars at such a time?

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  • $\begingroup$ Relevance to space exploration? $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 11 '20 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble The cosmic rays are relevant. They could disturb or even destroy electronics, for example. $\endgroup$ – Infrisios Sep 11 '20 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Infrisios the question needs to show relevance to space exploration to be on topic. Not a comment. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 11 '20 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Infrisios Thankx for the comment. I edited. $\endgroup$ – Deschele Schilder Sep 11 '20 at 17:25
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1, Yes, but in an opposite sense.
Cosmic rays are densest when the solar cycle is least active, but that corresponds to when there are the fewest sunspots. But the magnetic field reverses when there are the most sunspots, at "solar max."

2, Yes.
NASA has published extensively about the risks of cosmic rays to astronauts outside Earth's magnetosphere.

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