Light Flashes Observed by Astronauts on Skylab 4

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Science  30 May 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4191, pp. 928-930
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4191.928


Two dedicated light flash observing sessions were conducted by one of the crewmen during the Skylab 4 mission. Analyses of his observations reveal a strong correlation between flash frequency and primary cosmic-ray flux, and an even stronger correlation between flash frequency and the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region of the inner belt trapped radiation. Calculations indicate that an all-proton inner belt probably cannot produce the observed SAA flash rate, and they suggest that there may exist a previously unobserved inner belt flux of multiply charged nuclei.