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The Earth was pummeled with record-setting levels of cosmic rays in 2009. Measurements from NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and other spacecraft found that more high-energy particles from galactic space penetrated the inner solar system in the last few years than at any other time since the beginning of the space age.
The spike is almost certainly due to several weird aspects of the most recent solar minimum, and could be the start of a new normal for cosmic ray levels.