British Columbia Smoke Haze

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6 years 9 months ago #3431 by Sonarflash
For the past three days, smoke from the many forest fires in B.C. has produced a thick haze high over the Cowichan Valley and Southern Vancouver Island. Background readings remain the same. I was hoping the smoke might reduce the cosmic radiation slightly.
Last year when we got a lot of smoke from a fire in the Port Renfrew area, my window sill rad levels did bounce up slightly, but then, the wood smoke was laying thick over the valley and close to the ground.

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6 years 9 months ago #3432 by ChrisLX200
What is the logic behind the theory that cosmic radiation may be reduced? Cosmic rays are high energy particles (or rather, the result of high energy impacts in the upper atmosphere resulting in products filtering down). They are a pest with my astro CCD equipment as they show as white spots/streaks on the image, and they will pass through the thick metal camera casing with ease to stike the CCD. Also, burning organics may itself release radiactives which were previously bound up. Just wondering :-)

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6 years 9 months ago #3433 by Sonarflash
No logic, just an observation. As mentioned, a year or two back, a forest fire west of Lake Cowichan in the Port Renfrew area covered Duncan and area with a thick smoke haze at ground level. That did result in an increase in background. My thought then was that burning timber was releasing isotopes like carbon-14 into the haze. The high level, thick orange-yellow haze over us made me think of atmospheric density affecting cosmic radiation levels. IE. Denver gets more than Duncan because of elevation. As I say, just a random notion.
Today, the readings remain at 31 CPM, even though over the past few days a thin smoke haze has settled to ground level. This smoke comes from hundreds of kilometres distant, mainly from the northeast. The Port Renfrew fire was only 50 or 60 kilometres to the southwest. (approximately)


The detection level of 31 CPM is from my Aware Electronics RM-80, LND7313-3 pancake, (44mm dia.), horizontal, on the sill by an open window. Elevation about 80 metres above sea level. According to Aware, this converts to approx. 0.0866 microsieverts per hour.
My LND712 on the GK-plus4 has been showing an average of 14 CPM on my desk two metres from the window sill. All very average and ho-hum.

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6 years 9 months ago #3436 by ChrisLX200
Yes, the traces I record never seem to change much - which I guess is good news really :-) I wonder though if it might be useful to present an average 24Hr reading too, then even slight changes in general background trends would be easier to spot.

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