NASA Warns To Switch Off Your Phone To Protect Yourself From Cosmic Rays: True Or False?

8th Apr 2024
NASA Warns To Switch Off Your Phone To Protect Yourself From Cosmic Rays: True Or False?

Today, a message going viral on X recommends that users shut down their phones for cosmic ray protection widely spread on social media. 

It claims that Google, NASA, the BBC, and CNN had warned people to turn off their mobile phones, laptops, and electronic devices between 12:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. tonight. At this time, cosmic rays are allegedly coming close to Earth, causing the highest radiation levels. The message is likely related to today’s total solar eclipse. But was this even real, or is it a fake?

viral message on social media

According to an investigation by Factly, NASA, the Beeb, and CNN have not issued official warnings, either recently or in the past. None of them ever warned about the need to power down electronic devices due to heightened radiation from cosmic rays.

Moreover, Factly found out that this message has been circulating on the internet since at least 2010.

The Viral Message Is An Old Hoax

“In 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) debunked this message as a hoax. They clarified that this information was false in a statement provided to Vishwas News in 2019. ISRO emphasized that there is no correlation between cosmic ray modulation and the use of mobile phones. Therefore, the claim made in the post is false,” the investigation says about the viral message.

viral message

NASA explains that cosmic rays are particles originating from various sources in outer space, including the sun, exploding stars, and black holes. Despite travelling at incredibly high speeds, approaching that of light, these particles are typically blocked by Earth’s atmosphere upon reaching our planet. As a result, they pose little to no harm to humans.

What Do Health Experts Say?

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says cosmic radiation comes from stars like our sun. Another type of radiation from the Sun is ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is different from cosmic radiation. The amount of cosmic radiation you get changes depending on how high up you are. You get more cosmic radiation at higher altitudes. It’s strongest in the upper atmosphere and even stronger in outer space. Being exposed to cosmic radiation is kind of like getting a medical X-ray. However, the amount most people get each year is very small and probably won’t hurt your health.

Trust The Monitoring Systems, Not The Viral Message

Lastly, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agrees that cosmic rays don’t pose much of a threat to people or Earth’s systems. They monitor different kinds of solar and stellar rays that could affect electronic devices and power grids. If there’s any danger, NOAA issues warnings early on to help keep everyone safe.

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