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Cosmic rays in the heliosphere

Interplanetary space is pervaded, apart from the corpuscular radiation and thermal particles coming from the Sun, by another population of energetic particles called cosmic rays. The study of cosmic rays is of primary interest in the field of "Space Weather", given their impact on space missions and the contamination of the instruments they carry. The Italian community has brought a significant contribution to these scientific problems, both in terms of theoretical/data analysis and experimental activity. The study of the changes in density of the cosmic radiation (S.V.I.R.CO.), via the continuous measurement of the atomic nuclei component recorded at the ground, is carried out via the S.V.I.R.CO observatory, with its "neutron monitor 20-NM-64", in Rome, being the only one in Italy that has continually collected data since 1957. This detector is part of a world-wide network of cosmic radiation detectors. INAF-IFSI also contributes to this network via the co-management of other observing sites: LARC (in collaboration with the University of Chile through the National Antarctic Institute of Chile and PNRA), ESO (Israel, in collaboration with the COSMIC RAYS/SPACE AGENCY centre of Israel and the University of Roma Tre) and the detector installed at Los Cerrillos (Chile, also in collaboration with the University of Chile and Roma Tre, through the National Antarctic Institute of Chile and PNRA). Of the main scientific results obtained by the "cosmic ray" group of IFSI-Rm, we highlight: the development of a model for the prediction of SEPs (Solar Energetic Particles) as a result of studies on the relation between SEPs and solar parameters, progress in the field of acceleration and transport of SEPs through simulations of an SEP event, development and application of magnetospheric models of the terrestrial magnetic field in the context of the physics of cosmic rays, and analysis of the impact of SEPs on the chemistry of the polar terrestrial atmosphere from satellite data. The Cosmogeophysics group (IFSI-To) instead, that carries out its experimental research at the Monte dei Cappuccini di Torino under-ground research station, is involved in the study of meteorites that have fallen in the last centuries. The aim of this research is the determination of the variation of the the cosmic ray flux and the reconstruction of past solar activity.

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